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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Virginia
Christopher R. Kavanaugh, United States Attorney
Contact: Brian McGinn
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Wise County Man Sentenced for Possession of Fentanyl, Guns Following Single-Vehicle Crash

Two Deputies Taken to Hospital Following Fentanyl Exposure from Evidence

ABINGDON, Va. – A Wise County, Virginia man, who was found to be in possession of over 40 grams of fentanyl and a pair of firearms at the scene of a single-vehicle accident, was sentenced today in federal court to 195 months in federal prison.

Malcolm T’Rell Pinkston, 31, of Big Stone Gap, Va., pleaded guilty in November 2021 to one count of possession with the intent of distribute and attempting to possess with the intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and one count of possessing a firearm and ammunition in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to court documents, law enforcement arrived at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Route 23 in Duffield, Virginia where they found Pinkston visibly impaired and handling a 9 mm pistol next to his crashed vehicle. Inside the vehicle, officers found 48 grams of fentanyl, a 5.56 caliber pistol, and several magazines and rounds of ammunition. Two Scott County Sheriff’s Deputies were taken to the hospital following fentanyl exposures from processing the evidence.

Pinkston was serving a term of supervised release at the time of his accident due to a prior federal conviction for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.   

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia, Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Washington Field Division, and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police made the announcement today.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena L. Busscher prosecuted the case.

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