Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 17, 2013

Pill Initiative, inmate defendants indicted

BLUEFIELD — A federal grand jury meeting this week at U.S. District Court in Beckley returned a new federal indictment naming a Mercer County man who served most of the last decade in federal custody; a superseding indictment that added four criminal counts to a Mercer County man whose trial was previously set to start on Jan. 29; and two indictments charging federal inmates at the McDowell Correctional Center with crimes.

Tyler Frazier Thorpe, 71, of Bluefield was arrested by Bluefield detectives on Nov. 14, 2012, in possession of 868 hydromorphone pills. Thorpe was arrested in 2003, as part of a drug eradication effort led by the Southern Regional Drug & Violent Crime Task Force that tackled a group of drug dealers known as “the Untouchables.” Thorpe, then 62, was sentenced to a 105-month prison term after pleading guilty to the 2003 charges.

The new  five count federal indictment alleges that Thorpe intentionally distributed a quantity of hydromorphone in Bluefield on Sept. 12, Sept. 17, Sept. 25, and twice on Nov. 13, all in 2012. Thorpe’s November 2012, arrest was part of the Bluefield Pill Initiative and was also investigated by the task force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Miller Bushong presented the case to the grand jury.

Brady Woods, 36, also of Bluefield, was named in a five count federal superseding indictment alleging three counts of distribution of a quantity of cocaine base, also known as crack, one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Counts two, three, four and five allegedly occurred on Feb. 3, 2012, and count one allegedly occurred on Jan. 31, 2011. All counts allegedly occurred in Bluefield.

Woods was originally indicted on July 17, 2012, one count of possession with the intent to distribute crack. His trial on that count was scheduled to start on Jan. 29, but will likely be changed because of the superseding indictment.

AUSA Bushong also presented the government’s case against Brady to the grand jury.

The same grand jury also returned two 1-count indictments naming inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution at McDowell. Rogelio Rodriguez-Cabrera, 40, was charged with unlawful possession of a prohibited object, “that is, a shank,” and Kevin Lanier, 29, was charged with unlawful possession of heroin, according to the indictments. Both of those cases were presented to the Jan. 15 federal grand jury by Assistant U.S. Attorney John L. File.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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