Mexican National pleads to federal drug charge

Staff Report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that a Mexican national residing in Madison, W.Va., pleaded guilty Wednesday November 18 to a drug charge in federal court in Charleston. Leonel Vivian Castellanos, 28, from Vera Cruz, Mexico, pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine, admitting that between May 12 and May 19, 2015, he distributed approximately 500 grams of methamphetamine to informants in Kanawha and Boone Counties.

In addition to the drugs Castellanos distributed to informants, law enforcement later found more methamphetamine during the course of the investigation. On May 21, 2015, police arrested Castellanos and found him in possession of another 50 grams of methamphetamine at his home in Madison. That same day, during the execution of a search warrant in Nitro, law enforcement seized approximately 500 grams of additional methamphetamine that Castellanos admitted to distributing.

Castellanos faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $1,000,000 fine when he is sentenced on February 23, 2016.

The Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team, Homeland Security Investigations, the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation, and the South Charleston Police Department conducted the investigation in this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is handling the prosecution.

This case is being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat illegal drugs in our communities, including 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 other drugs in communities across the Southern District.

Staff Report

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