Ralph B. DavisManaging Editor
October 11, 2012
BECKLEY — U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin recently charged a former Beckley Police Department (BPD) evidence technician with illegally obtaining oxycodone. The charge follows the BPD’s announcement in August that prescription pain pills were missing from its evidence room.
According to a court document Goodwin filed this morning, Gabriella Brown, 31, of Beckley, committed a federal felony by obtaining controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge. Brown was employed as the BPD’s evidence technician at the time the missing evidence was disclosed. The charge against Brown was filed in a court document known as an information, which often indicates that the defendant is cooperating with prosecutors. Brown faces up to four years’ imprisonment.
“Prescription drug abuse damages continues to take a toll on communities all over southern West Virginia,” said U.S. Attorney Goodwin. “I’m committed to doing everything possible to get this problem under control.”
The Drug Enforcement Agency Tactical Diversion Squad is in charge of the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Steven I. Loew is handling the prosecution.
The charge comes in the midst of a major push by Goodwin’s office to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs. 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 in communities across the Southern District.