CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A New York man was sentenced today to 186 months in federal prison for his participation in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in Mercer County. James Walker, 43, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, oxymorphone, oxycodone and hydromorphone. Walker was charged as a result of a long-term, multi-state investigation known as Operation X-Nation. Walker also forfeited $150,000 in proceeds generated from his drug trafficking activity.
Between August 2017 and August 31, 2019, Walker worked with other members of a DTO to distribute prescription pills and cocaine in and around Mercer County. More specifically, Walker facilitated drug transactions with confidential informants working with law enforcement. Walker would then direct the informants to one of several trailers he owned in different trailer parks in Mercer County. Once the informants arrived at the trailer park, Walker would then direct them to meet with a particular member of the DTO to purchase the drugs. Walker and other members of the DTO also had telephone calls intercepted by law enforcement. In these calls Walker and others were discussing drug transactions including the pricing and quantities of different substances. Walker further admitted that he was arrested in New York after having calls intercepted by law enforcement. At the time of his arrest, Walker was in possession of approximately 1,500 prescription pills that he intended to distribute. Walker also was arrested in Princeton on January 10, 2020. and at that time, he was driving a car that had a hidden mechanical trap that was used to transport controlled substances.
Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, which is composed of officers from the West Virginia State Police, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, the Princeton Police Department and the Bluefield Police Department.
Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess handled the prosecution.