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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
Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Operation Smoke and Mirrors Update: Kanawha County Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Role in Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Michael Allen Roberts Jr., 40, of St. Albans, was sentenced today to 14 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine. Roberts 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, between November 2022 and March 15, 2023, Roberts conspired with other individuals to distribute quantities of methamphetamine.

On March 14, 2023, Roberts met with co-defendant Todd Tyler Snead at Roberts’ residence in Saint Albans, where he delivered approximately 4 pounds of methamphetamine to Snead. Law enforcement officers later searched Snead’s vehicle and recovered the methamphetamine. 

Co-defendant Antonio Jeffries had delivered 50 pounds of methamphetamine to Roberts’ residence a couple of weeks prior to March 15, 2023.

On March 15, 2023, law enforcement officers searched a property on Smith Street in St. Albans and seized approximately 44 pounds of methamphetamine. Roberts admitted that he had placed the methamphetamine at the property a day or two before the search.

Snead, 57, of Waynesboro, Virginia, was sentenced on September 6, 2023, to 10 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Roberts and Snead are 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.

Roberts and Snead are among 27 defendants who have pleaded guilty. Indictments against Jeffries and 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 presided over the hearings. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy B. Wolfe prosecuted 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.


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