Select Page

Sentencing in West Virginia Drug Conspiracy

 

A West Virginia man already serving a 20-year drug sentence will now spend even longer in prison. Velarian Carter was sentenced in July to an additional 20 years for orchestrating a drug conspiracy while he was behind bars.

Investigators say he was at the center of a drug conspiracy flooding the state’s Raleigh County and nearby areas with illegal drugs, including cocaine, crack, and heroin.

FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent Jennifer King is no stranger to Carter’s activities—she was part of the team that initially investigated Carter in 2016, uncovering his conspiracy to transport methamphetamine from California to West Virginia. For those crimes, he was arrested in March 2016, pleaded guilty in July 2016, and sentenced in February 2017 to his original 20-year term. Carter’s Mexican cartel contact in California was also charged and is serving time in prison.

Shortly after Carter’s guilty plea in the initial conspiracy, his criminal activities started up again. While being held in a jail in Barboursville, West Virginia, he became the ringleader for distributing illegal drugs to members of his network through coded phone calls and personal visits. According to case agent King, “Carter knew the jail recorded telephone calls, but he told one of his associates on the phone he believed it was safe to talk because he had already pleaded guilty.”

For months the FBI monitored Carter’s calls and figured out what the coded conversations meant. Investigators were eventually able to get a number of court-authorized electronic surveillance orders on various communication devices and members of Carter’s network.

“Carter’s criminal network was tough to penetrate because it was composed mostly of family members,” King explained. “It included Carter’s sister, uncle, and several cousins and close associates that he had grown up with.”

The FBI used informants, found cooperating witnesses, and conducted undercover operations and physical surveillance, but it needed electronic surveillance to fully dismantle Carter’s criminal network. The investigation ultimately resulted in a mountain of evidence and a June 2017 indictment, which led to the takedown of Carter’s criminal organization after the execution of 23 federal arrest warrants and about a dozen search warrants.   Read more

Read also: Jeff Sessions: US attorney general hits back at Trump

Sentencing in West Virginia Drug Conspiracy

A West Virginia man already serving a 20-year drug sentence will now spend even longer in prison. Velarian Carter was sentenced in July to an additional 20 years for orchestrating a drug conspiracy while he was behind bars.