Nicholas County pill dealer gets 8 years in prison - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Nicholas County pill dealer gets 8 years in prison

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Nicholas County man was sentenced to federal prison on Sept. 10 for his role in an oxycodone distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  Andrew Eric Lough, 29, of Persinger, Nicholas County, W.Va., was sentenced to eight years in prison.  During the summer of 2011 until August 27, 2012, Lough sold oxycodone tablets in and around Nicholas County.  On several occasions, Lough provided between 20 to 100 30-milligram oxycodone tablets to his co-conspirator, Charles Edward Thomas, 37, of Summersville, W.Va. 

Thomas previously pleaded guilty in April to oxycodone distribution.  He was sentenced on Sept. 9 to two years and nine months in federal prison.

During the conspiracy, Thomas paid Lough $50 per tablet after completing illegal pill transactions.  Lough frequently obtained oxycodone pills from his source of supply located in Bluefield, W.Va.  On April 11, 2012, Lough traveled to Alabama to purchase a Dodge Viper.  While he was away, Lough directed Thomas to continue selling oxycodone tablets.  Police used a confidential informant to purchase two 30-milligram oxycodone pills from Thomas.  The pill transaction occurred at Lough's Nicholas County residence.  Officers executed a search warrant on Lough's residence.  During the search, police found a safe that contained 75 30-milligram tablets and $1,126 in cash in Lough's bedroom.  The cash found in the safe contained U.S. currency that was previously used during two pill transactions that were monitored by law enforcement.  Police also seized a loaded .22 caliber pistol, a hunting rifle and a loaded .410 caliber pistol.   

The investigation was conducted by the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecutions.  The sentences were handed down by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston. 

This case was brought 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.  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 in communities across the Southern District.

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