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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. West Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Charges Following HSI Charleston Investigation

West Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Charges Following HSI Charleston Investigation

Release Date: February 5, 2024

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Charleston, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection led to a West Virginia man pleading guilty to possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl Jan. 25 at the U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Timothy Brian Jackson, 44, of South Charleston, admitted that he created and intended to distribute counterfeit oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl or other opioids.

“Timothy Jackson admitted to manufacturing, possessing and intending to distribute poison, which could have wreaked havoc on scores of American families,” said HSI Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon. “Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. One kilogram of fentanyl can produce 1 million to 1.5 million pill dosage units and has the potential to kill 500,000 people. HSI Washington, D.C. is proud to have worked with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to prevent the distribution of this toxin to the residents of our communities.”

According to the investigation, on Aug. 9, 2022, law enforcement officers intercepted a package that Jackson placed in the U.S. mail to send to Connecticut.

Officers searched the package and found over 300 pills that appeared to be 30-milligram oxycodone pills. The DEA’s Mid-Atlantic Laboratory confirmed the pills contained protonitazene, an emergent synthetic opioid that is equally, if not more, potent than fentanyl.

“Through his selfish and reckless actions, Mr. Jackson endangered not only his immediate neighbors, but the Charleston community at large; and for that, he should expect to meet the full weight of the justice system,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott, head of the DEA’s Louisville Field Division. “The DEA and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate clandestine drug labs operating in our communities. If you’re in the business of making or selling fake pills, just know that we’re coming for you.”

On Aug. 29, 2022, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at a St. Albans apartment rented by Jackson. They found various quantities of pills that looked like legitimate 30-milligram oxycodone pills.

The DEA Mid-Atlantic Laboratory confirmed that some of the seized pills contained fentanyl and others contained protonitazene or butonitazene, a Schedule I controlled substance with opioid effects. Officers also found various quantities of powders containing these substances, hydraulic pill press equipment, various punch and die kits used to imprint pills with “M30” markings, a pharmacy-grade powder mixing machine, various binding powders, two loaded pistols and a large quantity of cash.

Investigators seized over 10,000 pills in this case. Jackson admitted that he used the apartment — primarily its basement — as a workshop to make counterfeit pills that he intended to distribute. He also admitted that he acquired fentanyl powder from a source outside the United States, the “M30” punch and die sets from China, and commercially manufactured binding powder from a company in the United States.

“As postal inspectors, our primary mission is the protection of our people and the postal employees who serve the public dutifully each day,” said USPIS Inspector in Charge Lesley C. Allison. “The USPIS is committed to taking these dangerous substances out of the mail stream, and our priority is to safeguard the public and our employees. The charges against this individual proves the resolve of postal inspectors and our law enforcement partners to pursue these organizations with every resource at our disposal, and to ultimately see that justice is served.”

Jackson began renting the St. Albans apartment several years prior to the Aug. 29 law enforcement search. He admitted that since February 2022, he lived with his family in South Charleston while renting the St. Albans apartment.

Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 25, 2024, and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release, and a $10 million fine.

“This is the exact sort of criminal conduct that has resulted in untold harm and grief throughout West Virginia and our nation,” said U.S. Attorney Will Thompson. “There must be no tolerance for the creation and distribution of these counterfeit pills that have caused so many overdoses and deaths.”

This investigation was conducted with significant assistance from the West Virginia Fusion Center, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team, the Charleston Police Department, the St. Albans Police Department, and the St. Albans Fire Department’s hazardous materials team. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Anyone with information about drug trafficking or drug trafficking organizations is encouraged to call the HSI Tip Line at 877-4-HSI-TIP (877-447-4847). The HSI Tip Line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Learn more about HSI’s mission to increase public safety in your community on X, formerly known as Twitter, @HSI_DC.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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