DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of West Virginia

For Immediate Release

Friday, December 8, 2023
William S. Thompson
, United States Attorney

Operation Smoke and Mirrors Update: Kanawha County Man Sentenced to Prison for Role in Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ryan Keith Kincaid, 46, of South Charleston, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Kincaid admitted to his role in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that operated in the Charleston area.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in March 2023, Kincaid conspired with other individuals to distribute quantities of cocaine in the Charleston area. During a search of Kincaid’s apartment, approximately 11 ounces of cocaine, used drug packaging consistent with approximately 26 kilograms of cocaine, a loaded pistol and over $400,000 in cash were seized. Kincaid was ultimately responsible for trafficking 112 kilograms of cocaine which would have earned him over $3 million. 

Kincaid is among 32 individuals indicted as a result of Operation Smoke and Mirrors, a major drug trafficking investigation that has yielded the largest methamphetamine seizure in West Virginia history. Law enforcement seized well over 400 pounds of methamphetamine as well as 40 pounds of cocaine, 3 pounds of fentanyl, 19 firearms and $935,000 in cash.

Kincaid and 24 other defendants have pleaded guilty. Indictments against the other defendants are pending. An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

U.S. Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia National Guard Counter Drug program, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Charleston Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office. MDENT is composed of the Charleston Police Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Nitro Police Department, the St. Albans Police Department and the South Charleston Police Department.

Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston imposed the sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy B. Wolfe is prosecuting the case.

The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The program 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. 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.

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 number 2:23-cr-31.

###

Louisville Field Division