BECKLEY, WV (WOWK) – A Beckley man pleaded guilty in federal court today to conspiracy to distribute and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Oyontikeyta Jones, 41, faces a mandatory minimum period of 10 years and up to life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million when he is sentenced on October 2, 2020.
According to United States Attorney Mike Stuart, Jones was one of 17 defendants charged in federal court as a result of a long-term investigation known as Operation Shutdown Corner.
“When we get gun toting drug dealers like Jones off of our streets, it is a big win for West Virginia communities,” United States Attorney Mike Stuart said. “I commend the work of all the agencies that helped bring the members of this particular drug trafficking organization to justice.”
According to a statement sent to 13 News, Jones worked with other members of a drug trafficking organization to facilitate the distribution of methamphetamine in Raleigh County between June 2018 and September 17, 2019.
“During this time period, Jones had methamphetamine shipped from California to the Southern District of West Virginia,” the statement said. “This was accomplished by having packages delivered to other members of the DTO. Jones or others would then give directions on where the drugs should be delivered.”
Stuart said on August 9, 2019, after Jones met up with another member of the DTO, a traffic stop was made in Beckley on the car that Jones was a passenger.
“When the officer approached the car, Jones fled on foot but was later apprehended at a nearby business,” he said. “During a search of the car, officers found the package that had just been shipped from California. The package contained approximately two pounds of methamphetamine.”
Also, on August 6, 2019, officers with the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department approached Jones while he was stopped on the side of the road.
“At this time, officers found a Glock, model 26, 9mm semi-automatic pistol,” the statement said. “It also was established that earlier that same day, Jones was observed on video surveillance possessing that same firearm. Jones knew that he was prohibited from possessing any firearm due to being convicted of another felony offense in California. The United States was able to establish that the firearm was operable and traveled in and affected interstate commerce.”