CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A Kanawha County man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for his role in a major drug trafficking organization.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Nicholas Bradford Confere, 35, of Mammoth, was sentenced on Oct. 18, 2023, to three years and one month in prison for using a communications facility to facilitate a drug trafficking offense. His prison sentence is to be followed by one year of supervised release, court records say.

The DOJ says Confere allegedly used a landline telephone in Mammoth on Dec. 4, 2022, to arrange buying meth from a codefendant. Court records say that during the call, he told the codefendant third-party individuals also had money to buy meth from them.

According to court records, Confere later met the codefendant and received “a quantity of methamphetamine.” The DOJ says Confere admitted that he was supposed to pay the codefendant after he sold the meth.

Confere is also accused of using a cell phone to tell the codefendant he had sold the meth and had the money to pay them, according to court records.

The DOJ says Confere is among more than 30 defendants charged in an eight-month long investigation known as “Operation Smoke and Mirrors.”

In the operation, authorities seized more than 200 pounds of methamphetamine along with 28 pounds of cocaine, 20 pounds of fentanyl, 18 firearms, and $747,000 in cash.

The operation included the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia National Guard Counter Drug program, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Charleston Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office.

MDENT includes the Charleston Police Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Nitro Police Department, the St. Albans Police Department and the South Charleston Police Department.

Others charged in the operation include Antonio Lamar Jeffries, 34, and Michael Allen Roberts, Jr., 40, both of St. Albans; Karl Lamont Funderburk, 37, of Hurricane, Mark Leslie Lively, 56, of Kenna; Scott Jeremy Savage, 46, of Nitro; Ryan Keith Kincaid, 46, of South Charleston; Todd Tyler Snead, 57, of Waynesboro, Virginia; and Tres Avery Davis, 34, Telisa Rene McCauley, 31, Deayria Eyshay Willis, 24, John Paul Loudermilk, 60, Timothy Allen Loudermilk, 63, Keith Royal Goode-Harper, 31, Nicole Leigh Fierbaugh, 44, Latesha Lashae Nappier, 29, Jeremy Rayshad Walker, 34, Charles Norman Pannell, 43, and Les Van Bumpus, 34, all of Charleston.

14 of the defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and the indictment attributes 500 grams or more of meth to Jeffries, Davis, McCauly, Robert, and Snead. It also attributes 50 grams or more to Funderburk. Six of the defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, and six of them were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Alexandria Jasmine Estep, 21, and Robert Dewayne Miller, 35, both of Charleston; and Perry Johnson, Jr., 29, and Dashounieque Lashay Wright, 26, both of Detroit, Michigan, were charged in a separate one-count federal indictment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Eight other people were previously indicted as part of this operation: Jasper Wemh, 38, Justin Allen Bowen, 40, Richard Allen Bowen, 62, Kimberly Dawn Legg, 49, Larry Wayne Legg, 55, and Stanley Aaron Burkes, 62, all of Charleston; McKenzie Bowen, also known as McKenzie Myers, 24, of Belle; and Nicholas Bradford Confere, 35, of Mammoth.