CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A woman who admitted to being a part of the drug trafficking organization busted through “Operation Smoke and Mirrors” pleaded guilty on Monday, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
According to court documents, Telisa McCauley, 31, of Charleston, admitted to trying to get methamphetamine from another person, but they were out. The other person said they would give McCauley a discount if they went and got it.
Once McCauley got the meth, the Department of Justice says McCauley was pulled over and law enforcement found seven pounds of mouth.
McCauley is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 23, 2023. She faces up to life in prison, five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $10 million fine, according to the Department of Justice.
“Operation Smoke and Mirrors” is considered the largest drug bust in West Virginia history.
US Attorney Will Thompson said that a federal grand jury returned three indictments charging 30 people for their roles in a drug trafficking organization that dealt large amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl in the Charleston area. They also charged another 24 people in state criminal complaints.
According to officials, 50 search warrants were obtained after an eight-month-long investigation, and several of those search warrants were executed in the last 48 hours, including Wednesday morning.
They 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.
Those charged 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.
Court records say Justin Allen Bowen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine on February 23, 2023, and Larry Wayne Legg pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine on March 6, 2023. The rest of the defendants will stand trial on April 25, 2023.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jeremy B. Wolfe is prosecuting the case.
A spokesperson from the FBI says that they are still looking for three people facing federal charges: Deayria Willis, Perry Johnson, and Dashounieque Wright. Anyone with information on their whereabouts should contact 1-800-CALL-FBI. They say that Wright and Johnson have ties to the Detroit area.
The FBI says there are also five people that are facing state charges. If anyone has information about the whereabouts of the people in the photos below, they should contact the Charleston Police Department at 304-348-6400. Their names are Tammy Belcher, Zachary Harrison, Jermain Hill, Michael Jeffries, and David Holmes II.