CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Beckley woman pleaded guilty today for her role in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Detria S. Carter, 33, entered her guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Carter is one of 23 defendants indicted in June 2017 after a comprehensive investigation of drug trafficking in Southern West Virginia.
Carter admitted that between October 2016 and June 28, 2017, she took part in a drug trafficking conspiracy with multiple participants. During this time period, she was assisting her brother, Velarian Carter, a codefendant who previously pleaded guilty, in maintaining a drug trafficking organization while he was incarcerated on unrelated drug charges. The drug trafficking organization was responsible for distributing cocaine, crack, and heroin in and around Raleigh County. Carter admitted to having other participants in the conspiracy cook cocaine into crack at her house and to distributing the drugs in and around Southern West Virginia.
Additionally, Carter admitted that on May 25, 2017, she was stopped by the Beckley Police Department. Law enforcement discovered that Carter possessed 996 grams of cocaine, approximately 454 grams of crack, and a quantity of fentanyl. Carter admitted that it was her intent, and the intent of the drug trafficking organization, to distribute these controlled substances in Raleigh County. Law enforcement also seized two firearms from the same bag where the drugs were found.
Carter faces at least five and up to 40 years federal prison when she is sentenced on April 24, 2018.
Other individuals implicated as a result of this drug investigation have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing. Cheyenne Fragale and Macon Fragale, two brothers from Boomer in Fayette County, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, a quantity of oxycodone, and a quantity of heroin. They both face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison when they are sentenced on March 14, 2018. Dominic Copney, of Beckley, previously entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 100 grams of heroin. He faces a mandatory minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018. Velarian Carter, the brother of Detria Carter, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, more than 280 grams of crack, and more than 100 grams of heroin. He faces at least 20 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 17, 2018.
This prosecution was made possible through the cooperative efforts of several investigating agencies. The investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Beckley Police Department, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department, the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Postal Inspection Service provided assistance throughout the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is in charge of these prosecutions. The plea hearing was held before Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.
These cases are being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.