CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston man, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, was found guilty on all counts – three felony drug offenses – by a jury of his peers today, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Ralph Weathington, Jr., 28, was found guilty of distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of fentanyl, and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, fentanyl, and more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.
“Guilty on each and every count. Another former Detroit drug dealer is headed to prison. Weathington was dealing a smorgasbord of dangerous and deadly drugs – drugs that have wreaked havoc, chaos and death on our communities,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “We are pleased that as a result of today’s verdict, the people of the city of Charleston and the people of West Virginia are significantly safer. I applaud the work of the investigators and my entire team for a job well done.”
Evidence presented to the jury established that on January 22, 2018, the defendant met with a confidential informant working with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Charleston and sold the informant approximately two ounces of methamphetamine. Later, on January 30, 2018, the defendant again met with a confidential informant on the West Side of Charleston and sold the informant approximately 3.5 grams of fentanyl. Finally, on May 22, 2019, the defendant was present at an apartment in Charleston when officers with the United States Marshals Service and the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office discovered him holding a gray article of clothing that appeared to be wrapped around another object. The defendant was standing next to an open window as he held this object, and he threw it out the window when ordered by an officer to show his hands. An officer with the Charleston Police Department observed several objects falling from the window to the ground, and moved to secure the evidence which was found to be approximately 111 grams of methamphetamine, 18 grams of fentanyl, 27 grams of cocaine, United States currency, a silver weight used to calibrate a digital scale, a small shoebox and a gray sweatshirt. An officer with the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) arrived on scene and collected the drug-related evidence. Then, with the assistance of other officers, the apartment was searched and 18 additional grams of fentanyl were located along with a semi-automatic pistol, two digital scales and additional United States currency.
Weathington faces up to life in prison when sentenced on October 15, 2020.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Charleston Police Department, the United States Marshals Service, and the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) conducted the investigation. Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., presided over the trial. Assistant United States Attorneys Jeremy B. Wolfe and Monica D. Coleman handled the prosecution.