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Two New Jersey men pleaded guilty Monday for their participation in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in Fayette County.

Fuquan Hagler, 40, of East Orange, N.J., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Brian Kelley, 46, also from New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.

Hagler admitted he worked in June 2018 with other members of a drug trafficking organization operating between Fayette County and New Jersey to distribute oxycodone pills. On June 20, 2018, he was a passenger in car transporting oxycodone pills from New Jersey to West Virginia.

The plan was to deliver the pills to another member of the drug trafficking organization, but prior to delivering the pills to West Virginia, the car Hagler was in was stopped by the Pennsylvania State Police. During the traffic stop, approximately 997 oxycodone pills were recovered. The pills were hidden in a secret compartment, commonly referred to as a trap.

Kelley admitted he was involved in a conspiracy on July 7, 2018, to transport controlled substances from New Jersey to the Southern District of West Virginia. Kelley admitted to traveling to a co-defendant’s residence in Fayette County, and picking up over $21,000 in cash for another member of the drug trafficking organization.

Police officers later stopped the car Kelley was driving and found over $21,000 in cash and approximately 639 grams of cocaine. Both the cash and the cocaine were found in a hidden electronic compartment.

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart commended the cooperative investigative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force, 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.

“Two more out-of-state drug dealers held accountable for peddling their poisons in our communities,” Stuart said in the release. “The drug dealers involved in this DTO were wreaking havoc in our southern counties, but we have put them out of business.”

Hagler faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Kelley faces five to 40 years and a $5 million fine. Both men are scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 7. 

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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