CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Beckley man pled guilty today for his role in a drug trafficking crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Billy Joe Lesher, 40, of Beckley, entered his guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine.
The investigation was conducted by the Beckley Police Department, the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
“Good work by Beckley area law enforcement agencies,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Another meth dealer is off the streets.”
Lesher admitted that on October 24, 2018, members of the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, and the ATF executed a search warrant at his residence in Beckley, West Virginia. During the search, officers found approximately seven ounces methamphetamine that defendant admitted he possessed with the intent to distribute. Lesher also admitted that he possessed methamphetamine on March 10, 2018. On this date, Lesher admitted that he was the subject of a traffic stop in Beckley. After he was stopped, officers found approximately 58 grams of methamphetamine, a set of digital scales, two firearms, and almost $12,000 in cash in his car. After the traffic stop, officers also searched defendant’s residence and found approximately 33 ounces, or about two pounds, of methamphetamine. Lesher admitted that he intended to distribute this methamphetamine in the Southern District of West Virginia. Further, as part of his plea, Lesher admitted to distributing quantities of heroin on two different dates.
Lesher faces a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than 5 years and up to 40 years in federal prison and a $5,000,000.00 fine when he is sentenced on July 24, 2019.
Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is in charge of the prosecution. United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the hearing.