Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Kanawha County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Conspiracy

 CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kanawha County man pled guilty to participating in a drug conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Sammy Joe Fragale, II, aka “Bubby Fragale,” 38, of Montgomery, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Fragale is one of 14 defendants charged as a result of a long-term investigation known as “Second Wave,” which dismantled a poly-drug network operating in Kanawha and Fayette Counties.

“Fragale’s conviction is a result of the “Second Wave” investigation,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “The collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners took more than a dozen drug dealers off the streets that were peddling poisons in Kanawha and Fayette Counties.”  

Fragale admitted that he conspired with his father, Sammy Joe Fragale, Sr. to distribute methamphetamine to a DEA informant in August 2020.  On several occasions, Fragale “fronted” quantities of methamphetamine to the informant and agreed to accept payment on a later date.  On August 21, 2020, Fragale accepted payment from the informant for a transaction that occurred on August 18, 2020.  Fragale then returned the money to the informant and directed him to deliver the money to his father at a location in St. Albans.  After the transaction was completed, Fragale Sr. was stopped by a St. Albans police officer and found to be in possession of the money along with other controlled substances.

Fragale faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 5, 2021.  Fragale Sr. has been charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  That complaint remains pending, and the charges against him are mere allegations.  He is presumed innocent until convicted by guilty plea or by jury verdict. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the St. Albans Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation. Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over the hearing.

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) is an independent component of the U.S. Department of Justice. Established in 1982, OCDETF is the keystone of the Attorney General’s strategy to reduce the availability of illicit narcotics throughout the United States using a prosecutor-led, multi-agency approach to combat transnational organized crime. OCDETF agents and prosecutors nationwide handle complex investigations and prosecutions of the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, and other priority transnational criminal organizations that threaten the citizens of the United States.  OCDETF facilitates joint operations by focusing its partner agencies on priority targets, by managing and coordinating multi-agency efforts, and by leveraging intelligence across multiple investigative platforms.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-00176.

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