Operation Shutdown Corner update: Two more defendants sentenced for federal drug crimes

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)- United States Attorney Mike Stuart today announced that two more defendants were sentenced for their participation in an extensive drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating between California and the Southern District of West Virginia.

Victoria Hamilton, 35, of Beckley, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for conspiring to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and a quantity of heroin.  Terrion Borja, 28, of San Diego, California, was sentenced to 144 months in prison for conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine.  Hamilton and Borja were two of 17 defendants charged as a result of a long-term investigation, known as “Operation Shutdown Corner,” of a multi-state DTO.

“Southern West Virginia is no doubt safer as a result of the takedown of this DTO,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “This drug network was distributing a significant amount of illegal drugs in our communities. Borja alone admitted to sending six pounds of meth from California to members of the DTO in West Virginia.  He’ll now be spending the next 12 years in federal prison.”

Hamilton previously admitted that between June 2018, and September 17, 2019, she worked with other members of a DTO operating in Raleigh County, West Virginia, and elsewhere, to distribute methamphetamine and heroin.  During this time period, Hamilton admitted to receiving quantities of methamphetamine and heroin from other members of the DTO.  She further admitted that the other members knew it was her plan and purpose to re-distribute these drugs in the Southern District of West Virginia.  More specifically she admitted that during this time period, law enforcement agents intercepted telephone conversations and text messages regarding drug activity between her and other members of the DTO.  These conversations revealed that the defendant was obtaining drugs in quantities from a few grams to approximately one-half ounce at a time.  These conversations also revealed it was her plan to re-distribute these controlled substances to others in Raleigh County.

Borja also previously admitted his involvement in the DTO.  Borja admitted that between June 2018, and September 17, 2019, he participated in the same DTO operating between the Southern District of West Virginia and California by providing methamphetamine to other members of the DTO.  At his plea hearing, Borja admitted that he accomplished this by sending large quantities of methamphetamine from California to the Southern District of West Virginia.  More specifically, Borja admitted to using common carriers to send approximately six pounds of methamphetamine to other members of the organization in West Virginia knowing it was the plan and purpose of the DTO to re-distribute those drugs in West Virginia.  Two of the packages the defendant sent from California were intercepted by law enforcement officers.  One package was sent to Bluefield, Mercer County, and contained approximately four pounds of methamphetamine.  The second package was also sent to Bluefield but was intercepted during a traffic stop of another member of the DTO in Raleigh County.  When the defendant was arrested in California, law enforcement officers found shipping receipts containing the same tracking numbers of at least one of the packages Borja sent from California to West Virginia.

Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department, the Beckley Police Department, and the West Virginia State Police.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess handled the prosecutions.  United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentences.