Gavel

A Fayette County man pleaded guilty Tuesday for his participation in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in Fayette County.

Ryan Johnson, 37, of Oak Hill, pleaded to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and a quantity of oxycodone.

Johnson admitted that between October 2017 and September 2018, he worked with other members of a DTO operating between West Virginia and New Jersey to distribute heroin and oxycodone pills. Johnson admitted to selling oxycodone and heroin to a confidential informant working with law enforcement on two separate occasions.

He further admitted that he was supplied with drugs by other members of the DTO that transported the drugs from New Jersey to Fayette County. Johnson also admitted to sending approximately $21,000 to his suppliers in New Jersey as payment for controlled substances. The controlled substances he obtained from New Jersey were re-distributed to other members of the DTO in Fayette County.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force conducted the investigation with the support of the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug Task Force, the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the Fayetteville Police Department, and the Oak Hill Police Department.

“Johnson is the tenth defendant convicted as a result of Operation Mountaineer Highway,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said in the release. “This exemplary operation conducted by law enforcement dismantled a significant DTO and, no doubt, saved lives.”

Johnson faces five to 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine when he is sentenced Nov. 12.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy D. Boggess and Andrew J. Tessman are in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin. 

— Email: wholdren@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @WendyHoldren

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