Columbus men found guilty for their roles in a drug distribution operation that spanned three states | USAO-NDWV

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – After a four-day trial, a jury has found Rodriquies M. Evans and Cedric L. Douglas, both of Columbus, Ohio, guilty of charges involving methamphetamine distribution that spanned multiple states, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

The jury deliberated for two hours before finding Evans, also known as “Dree”, age 30, and Douglas, age 32, each guilty of one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute and to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances,” two counts of “Distribution of Methamphetamine,” and one count of “Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.” The crimes took place in Wetzel County and elsewhere, including the Southern District of West Virginia, Ohio, and Georgia from July 2015 to April 2018.

“This case is another example of exemplary investigative teamwork. It’s this collaboration of efforts that continues to stop the trafficking of dangerous drugs. And the verdict sends a strong message to those who want to sell drugs in West Virginia. If you do the crime, justice will be served,” said Powell.

Evans and Douglas each face up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for each count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert H. McWilliams, Jr., and Shawn M. Adkins prosecuted the cases on behalf of the government. The Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol; Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Marshall County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative; the West Virginia State Police; the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office; the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office; the Sistersville Police Department; the Paden City Police Department; and the New Martinsville Police Department investigated. The Columbus, Ohio Police Department Gang Crimes Unit assisted in the case. 

The investigation was funded in part by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy.  Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presided.

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