The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 10, 2013

Beckley man arrested third time for drugs

By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — A Beckley native who police called a “habitual offender” was arrested Monday on two charges of delivery of a controlled substance, officials reported.

David Hudson, 39, was arrested following a two-months-long investigation by Beckley Police, said Detective Cpl. B.M. Atterson.

Hudson had been living in Pennsylvania prior to his arrest, said Atterson.

“We conducted a traffic stop on him (Monday evening),” Atterson reported Tuesday. “I arrested him on the two counts of delivery charges, and he also had in his possession at the time  of the arrest 61 oxymorphone tablets, which has a street value of $4,200.”

Charges against Hudson stemmed from his alleged delivery of oxycodone and oxymorphone, a prescription narcotic painkiller intended to treat around-the-clock, moderate to severe pain.

Hudson, a convicted felon, had previously served a 121-month sentence in federal prison and had just completed a 36-month supervised probation.

He had been released from probation in April, said Atterson.

The detective said there is no evidence that Hudson was working with other dealers to bring drugs from Pennsylvania into Beckley.

“He had his own prescription for the oxymorphone he was receiving from a doctor in Pennsylvania,” said Atterson.

Atterson said offenders routinely go to other states to get legally prescribed narcotic painkillers.

“The big market is here in West Virginia,” he said. “So people go to other states, get their pills, and come back to West Virginia to distribute.”

Unlike West Virginia, Pennsylvania does not have a Board of Pharmacy that keeps a roster of patients who are being prescribed painkillers.

“I don’t have any way to track where else he was receiving medication,” said Atterson. “(In Pennsylvania) they can see Dr. A, B, C and D in one day and get a prescription from all these doctors, and fill it.

Atterson said that many offenders who sell prescription painkillers don’t believe they are doing anything wrong because they are selling a legal drug that they have been prescribed.

“I can’t tell you how many elderly people we come across and charge, and they’re just like, ‘It’s my pills. I should be able to do what I want with my pills,’” reported Atterson. “It’s not cocaine, it’s not an illegal substance, so a lot of people don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.

“You’ve got to deal with that, and the temptation to deal.”

He said dealers may be initially attracted to the high street value of the pills and the relative ease of getting them.

“It’s kind of tempting if you can go to a doctor and get a prescription for oxymorphone and sell it,” he said. “Here’s almost $7,000 in one bottle.

“Think of how hard it would be to get a kilo of cocaine,” he said. “You wouldn’t know where to go to get a kilo of cocaine, but you ... would know where to go to a get a prescription for painkillers.”

He said Hudson, if convicted, will probably face a stricter sentence due to his status as a habitual offender.

He is at Southern Regional Jail on $100,000 bond.

—  E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com