Man charged after officers find 240 grams of fentanyl, 81 grams of meth
Officials said he had a portable laboratory in his car and possessed everything necessary to make his own tablets and then sell them to unsuspecting customers.
WHEELING, W.Va (WDTV) - An Ohio man has been indicted on federal drug and gun charges after a traffic stop in Wheeling yielded a large quantity of fentanyl and a pill press used to make counterfeit tablets containing the synthetic opioid.
United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced that Christopher W. Thomas, 32, of Thornville, was indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury with the possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine as well as the unlawful possession of a firearm.
Thomas was stopped by the West Virginia State Police on March 3, 2022, on Wheeling Island.
Arresting officers found 240 grams of suspected fentanyl in his possession, in powder form and in the form of counterfeit Xanax pills.
Thomas possessed other items necessary to manufacture pills, including a metal pill press with a hydraulic jack, cutting agents, and a portable mixer.
“Drug traffickers are mass-producing fake pills that contain lethal doses of fentanyl,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. “Mr. Thomas had a portable laboratory in his car and possessed everything necessary to make his own tablets and then sell them to unsuspecting customers in the Ohio Valley.”
Officers also recovered a loaded Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, a box of additional ammunition, nearly $5,000 in cash, and 81 grams of methamphetamine.
Thomas is facing up to 20 years of incarceration for each of the drug counts and up to 10 years of on the gun 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. Attorney Clayton J. Reid is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.
The West Virginia State Police, the Marshall County Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, and ATF investigated.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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