United States District Judge Irene Berger sentenced two men on charges of dealing cocaine base in Beckley.  She heard the unrelated cases on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

Benjamin Payne, 51, of Beckley WV admitted that he sold cocaine base to a confidential informant on Oct. 26, 2017.  As part of that agreement he agreed to give up more than $23,000 in drug money and a hand gun.  He committed the crime while he was on supervised release.  He will now have to serve his original 10 year sentence followed by an additional year for the new charge.  The case was investigated by the Beckley Police Department.

Meanwhile, Raushan McDougald, 38, of Beckley also admitted to dealing cocaine base in Beckley in a separate investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  He is facing an 84 months (seven years) in prison.  As a part of his sentence, he agreed to give up $14,000 in drug money and a gun.

“I commend the tireless efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to rid West Virginia communities of illicit drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Cocaine is a growing threat once again.  These guys are off the streets and in the federal pen they’ve earned.”

The cases were prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets and curtaining the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.