Police seized hundreds of thousands in cash, firearms and pills during investigation

Updated 6 years ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

BECKLEY, W.Va. – A 55-year-old Wyoming County pill dealer who had hundreds of thousands in cash, illegal prescription pain pills and two firearms hidden at his residences was sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison on a federal drug charge, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. Delbert Lester, of McGraws, Wyoming Co., W.Va., previously pleaded guilty in August to possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute.  Lester’s sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Irene C. Berger in Beckley. 

From January 11, 2011 through May 4, 2013, Lester illegally sold prescription pills to a confidential informant working in cooperation with law enforcement authorities on eight separate occasions.  Lester, who maintained two residences in McGraws, lived at one residence and ran his illegal pill business out of the other.

On May 9, 2013, law enforcement agents executed search warrants on Lester’s two residences.  During the searches, agents recovered 190 30-milligram oxycodone pills and 155 10-milligram oxycodone pills. 

Agents also recovered a total of $570,000 in cash and several firearms including two loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic pistols.       

According to his plea agreement, Lester will forfeit the $570,000 in illegal drug proceeds that was seized from his residence.

The investigation was conducted by the Wyoming County Sherriff’s Department, the West Virginia State Police, the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, and the Internal Revenue Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn handled the prosecution. 

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.  The U.S. 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 in communities across the Southern District.