BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Two more defendants were sentenced today for their roles in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in Mercer County.
Keith Blakely, also known as “Bumpy,” 43 of New York, was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, oxymorphone, oxycodone and hydromorphone. Jan Rucker, 29, of McDowell County, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute hydromorphone and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Blakely also forfeited $69,962 in proceeds generated from his drug trafficking activity along with several firearms, while Rucker agreed to forfeit $1,543 and two firearms. Both men previously pleaded guilty to the charges that resulted from a long-term, multi-state investigation known as Operation X-Nation.
Between August 2017 and August 31, 2019, Blakely was participating in a DTO that was operating in and around Princeton. Law enforcement officers intercepted telephone conversations in which Blakely was discussing the distribution of controlled substances with other members of the drug trafficking operation, including the pricing and quantities of substances to be distributed. Blakely also made several drug distributions to informants that were cooperating with law enforcement. On August 30, 2019, law enforcement officers conducted a search of the apartment Blakely was living in near Bluefield and found large quantities of oxymorphone, oxycodone, and hydromorphone pills that he intended to distribute, along with three firearms and approximately $69,962 in cash. Blakely admitted that the cash was proceeds from his drug trafficking activity and agreed to forfeit the cash and the firearms to the United States.
Rucker was stopped by law enforcement officers on August 30, 2019, while driving his truck in Princeton. The officers found approximately 507 hydromorphone pills, $1,543 in cash and two firearms during the traffic stop. Rucker admitted that he intended to distribute the pills and that he used and carried the firearms during the drug trafficking crime. As part of the plea agreement, Rucker agreed to forfeit the firearms and the $1,543 that he admitted was proceeds of drug trafficking activity.
Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, which is composed of officers from the West Virginia State Police, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, the Princeton Police Department and the Bluefield Police Department.
Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentences. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess handled the prosecution.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 1:19-cr-00307 (Blakely) and 1:19-cr-00308 (Rucker).