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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of West Virginia
William S. Thompson, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 1, 2024

Charleston Man Sentenced to More Than 22 Years in Prison for Drug and Gun Crimes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Samuel Pierre Joseph, 41, of Charleston, was sentenced today to 22 years and six months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of  methamphetamine and a quantity of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine and 40 grams or more of a mixture containing fentanyl.

A federal jury found Joseph guilty on July 11, 2023, following a two-day trial. Evidence at trial proved that on Dec. 27, 2021, law enforcement officers encountered Joseph as he left his room at the Knights Inn on MacCorkle Avenue in Charleston. Joseph dropped a black duffel bag he was carrying and attempted to flee. Officers apprehended Joseph and found approximately 267 grams of methamphetamine, a Smith & Wesson Model Bodyguard .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a Ruger model LC9s 9mm semi-automatic pistol and drug paraphernalia in the duffel bag. Officers also found $1,355 on Joseph’s person.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Joseph knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony conviction for possession of marijuana, fourth offense, in the Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of Bienville, Louisiana, on April 14, 2015.

On March 17, 2022, Joseph was a passenger of a vehicle pulled over by law enforcement officers in a Dudley Avenue parking lot in Parkersburg. During the traffic stop, officers found approximately 152 grams of methamphetamine and 12.9 grams of a mixture containing fentanyl and heroin on Joseph’s person. Officers arrested Joseph and took him to the Parkersburg Police Department. While at the police department, Joseph attempted to dispose of a business card from a Charleston storage unit rental facility that included the number of a storage unit that Joseph rented at the facility. Officers recovered the card and obtained a search warrant for the rented storage unit. Officers found approximately 896.8 grams of methamphetamine and 83.6 grams of fentanyl in the rented storage unit when they executed the search warrant.

“This defendant has a criminal history that includes 15 prior convictions and was not deterred by his December 2021 arrest as the subsequent traffic stop demonstrates,” said U.S. Attorney Will Thompson. “Today’s sentence reflects not only his persistent criminal conduct, but also the dedication and teamwork of the law enforcement officers who brought him to justice.”

Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) and the Parkersburg Police Department, and the assistance provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Charleston Police Department.

Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston imposed the sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy B. Wolfe and Troy D. Adams prosecuted the case.


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