Thursday, May 25, 2023

Waynesboro Man Pleads Guilty to Methamphetamine Conspiracy in Charleston Drug Trafficking Case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Todd Tyler Snead, a 57-year-old resident of Waynesboro, Virginia, has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Snead confessed to his involvement in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in the Charleston area.

Court documents and statements revealed that Snead traveled to St. Albans on March 14, 2023, with the intention of obtaining approximately 4 pounds of methamphetamine from a co-defendant. Law enforcement officers diligently tracked Snead and subsequently conducted a search of his vehicle's trunk when he arrived at a hotel in Cross Lanes. The search yielded the discovery of the methamphetamine, leading to Snead's immediate arrest. It was further disclosed that Snead had been procuring pound-level quantities of methamphetamine from the co-defendant for several months leading up to his apprehension.

Scheduled for sentencing on September 6, 2023, Snead now faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years, with the potential for up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a staggering $10 million fine.

Snead is among 30 individuals who have been indicted as a result of Operation Smoke and Mirrors, a highly significant drug trafficking investigation that has resulted in the largest methamphetamine seizure in West Virginia's history. Law enforcement agencies successfully seized over 200 pounds of methamphetamine, along with 28 pounds of cocaine, 20 pounds of fentanyl, 18 firearms, and a substantial sum of $747,000 in cash. Currently, seven other co-defendants have already pleaded guilty, while the indictments against the remaining defendants are still pending. It is important to note that an indictment merely represents an allegation, and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, all defendants are presumed innocent.

United States Attorney Will Thompson praised the extensive investigative efforts carried out by various law enforcement agencies involved in the case. These agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia National Guard Counter Drug program, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, the Charleston Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, and the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office. The MDENT comprises the Charleston Police Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, the Nitro Police Department, the St. Albans Police Department, and the South Charleston Police Department.

Presiding over the hearing, Chief United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston played a crucial role in the legal proceedings, while Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy B. Wolfe took charge of prosecuting the case.

This investigation falls under the purview of the Department of Justice's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). Established in 1982, the OCDETF program aims to combat major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations through comprehensive, multilevel operations. By leveraging the resources and expertise of federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement, the OCDETF program focuses on identifying, disrupting, and dismantling the most significant drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal groups, and money laundering organizations that pose a significant threat to public safety, the economy, or national security.

For further details and access to related court documents, interested individuals can refer to the press release available on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Additionally, PACER can be utilized to find relevant court documents and information by searching for Case No. 2:23-cr-31.

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