CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jankowski presented three local law enforcement agencies today with over $1 million in forfeited cash as a result of their participation in a joint investigation of a Barboursville pharmacy owner. Officials from the Charleston Police Department, the Huntington Police Department, and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department were on hand to receive the forfeiture awards at a press conference in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charleston.
Several law enforcement agencies worked together on a far-reaching investigation that resulted in the convictions of 19 defendants on federal drug charges, including 15 local drug dealers, two out-of-state drug suppliers, and one local pharmacy owner. The IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Huntington Police Department, the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia National Guard, Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force Officers from the Charleston Police Department, and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department jointly investigated the extensive drug conspiracy that stretched from Lincoln County to Florida.
As part of the conspiracy, the drug suppliers illegally filled prescriptions for oxycodone and sent the drugs to Lincoln County for distribution. During a search by law enforcement of the drug suppliers’ home in Florida, agents discovered prescription pill bottles for oxycodone that had been filled at A+ Care Pharmacy in Barboursville. Law enforcement then executed search warrants at A+ Care Pharmacy and at the home of its owner, Kofe Agyekum, and seized over 50,000 oxycodone pills, over $2 million in cash, and a Lexus. Agyekum pleaded guilty and was sentenced to over five years in federal prison.
“Let me be clear – we will work with every local, state, and federal law enforcement agency and use every available tool to prosecute those who flood West Virginia with drugs. As we proved in this case, we will travel beyond our state’s borders to bring them to justice,” said Acting United States Attorney Casto. “I want to thank the law enforcement agencies that worked as a team to investigate this case. These forfeiture assets will be used by law enforcement to continue this fight and make our communities safer.”
These prosecutions were brought 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 and heroin. 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 and heroin in communities across the Southern District.