United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced last week that four members of a Lincoln County family entered guilty pleas last week in federal court in Charleston.
Larry Wayne Lawson, 54, of West Hamlin, wife, Tina Taylor Lawson, 37, son, Jason Wayne Lawson, 30, and son’s fiancé, Tia Estep, 28, of Seymour, Tennessee all entered guilty pleas admitting their involvement in distributing oxycodone in August of 2013.
Larry Lawson and Tina Taylor Lawson admitted that on August 13, 2013, they sold 5 oxycodone pills to a confidential informant (CI) working with law enforcement. The CI sent a text message to the Lawson’s cell phone asking whether the couple had any pills for sale.
Tina Lawson responded via text message, that they could supply the pills and directed the CI to meet them at their home on Bear Creek in West Hamlin. When the CI arrived at the Lawson’s home, Larry Lawson sold him 5 oxycodone 30 mg pills for $200.
The following day, on August 14, 2013, the CI phoned Larry Lawson and arranged to purchase additional oxycodone pills. Larry Lawson directed the CI to come back to his Bear Creek residence where Jason Lawson and Tia Estep sold the CI 5 oxycodone 30 mg pills for $200.
All four defendants face up to 20 years imprisonment when they are sentenced on November 20, 2014, before United States District Court Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.
This case was investigated by the Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force and the West Virginia State Police.
This case was 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 prescription drugs and heroin The United States Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin.
In other federal court news:
* Reginald Bennett, 40, of Cedar Grove, pleaded guilty last week to unlawful concealment of a firearm announced United States Attorney Booth Goodwin.
In September of 2013, Bennett was stopped by the Charleston Police Department for a traffic violation. During the stop, officers discovered a .38 caliber Colt revolver in Bennett’s possession. Bennett was prohibited from possessing any gun because of a prior felony conviction.
After his arrest and release, Bennett removed a Ruger M77 rifle from his home in Cedar Grove, and hid it in a home in South Charleston to prevent law enforcement officers from finding it. The rifle was discovered when a federal search warrant was executed at the South Charleston residence.
Bennett faces a maximum penalty of 20 in prison when he is sentenced on December 11, 2014. As part of his plea, Bennett agreed to forfeit both the revolver and the rifle.
The United States Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Charleston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes is prosecuting the matter on behalf of the United States.
* United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that a Charleston man pled guilty last week in federal court in Charleston to conspiring to defraud timeshare owners throughout the United States and Canada.
David Andrew Glynn, 47, admitted that he set up a bogus company named Mountain State Resales, LLC (MSR) that was purportedly in the business of brokering timeshare sales.
Glynn, and others, contacted timeshare owners and advised them that MSR had buyers for their the timeshares, and asked owners to pay fees and expenses necessary to complete the sales. Timeshare owners were directed to send the requested payments to MSR in South Charleston, West Virginia.
Glynn also contacted timeshare owners who had been victims of prior fraud schemes and posed as an agent with “Internal Revenue Recovery Associates,” a fictional entity that he claimed was affiliated with a governmental agency.
Glynn represented that he was investigating timeshare fraud schemes, and needed the victims of such schemes to send money to MSR to assist with its recovery efforts.
During the guilty plea hearing, Glynn admitted that MSR was not a legitimate business, and was created to defraud owners of timeshare companies.
He also admitted that MSR received more than $86,000 from the fraud scheme. As part of the plea agreement, Glynn will be required to make full restitution. Sentencing is scheduled for November 24, 2014.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the West Virginia State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Meredith George Thomas is handling the prosecution.
(Fred Pace is the Editor for the Coal Valley News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-369-1165, or on Twitter @fcpace62)