Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 13, 2014

Two pill traffickers sentenced

BLUEFIELD — Two men were sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court as part of the Bluefield Pill Initiative for distributing quantities of oxycodone and hydromorphone in Mercer County.

Leonard Graves III, 31, of Bluefield, Va., was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for distribution of oxycodone, a scheduled II controlled substance. Graves pleaded guilty in January, admitting that in September 2013 that he distributed 20 oxycodone pills in the Bluefield area to a person cooperating with police, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin said. As part of his plea, Graves admitted that he sold a total of 269 oxycodone pills.

 Two other counts of the same charge, distribution of oxycodone, were dismissed on the government’s motion, according to information with the Clerk’s Office for the U.S. District Court. Graves will have three years of supervised release.

Jermaine Holland, 31, of Bluefield, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for distribution of hydromorphone, a schedule II controlled substance. Holland pleaded guilty in December 2013, admitting that in July 2013, he distributed two hydromorphone pills from his Bluefield home to a person cooperating with police. Holland also admitted that he sold several additional hydromorphone pills, and that he possessed two firearms and kept them near the drugs and money he earned from selling drugs, Goodwin said.

Three charges of distribution of hydromorphone were dismissed on government motion, according to information with the court clerk office. Holland will have three years of supervised release.

Both Graves and Holland were remained to the U.S. Marshals Service after being sentenced.

These cases were investigated by the Southern West Virginia Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the prosecution was handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney John File. This case was prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin, Goodwin said.

The U. S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District, Goodwin stated.

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