Feds indict local man

CLARKSBURG – A Buckhannon man who Upshur County sheriff’s deputies arrested on charges of selling marijuana in October is now facing federal drug trafficking charges, court records show.

Ryan Keith Gillum, 36, is named in a 14-count indictment returned Dec. 17, 2013, by a federal grand jury sitting in Clarksburg.

The indictment was sealed until Tuesday when Gillum was arrested by officers with the U.S. Marshals Service, according to information from Chris Zumpetta-Parr, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Gillum, who appeared before U.S. Magistrate John S. Kaull Tuesday in federal court, is currently free on a personal recognizance bond, Zumpetta-Parr said.

Gillum is named in four counts of the 14-count indictment, which also names four other individuals: Lennox Buckley, also known as “J,” “Jamaic,” and “Jamaica Man;” Melvin Sanders, Beth Ann Brown and Donna Irons.

Count 1 alleges that “between in or about July, 2010 (sic) and November, 2012, (sic) the exact dates unknown to the Grand Jury,” all five individuals conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana in Marion, Monongalia, Harrison and Upshur counties “and elsewhere.”

The other three counts that name Gillum allege that between Oct. 3, 2013, and Oct. 14, 2013, he made $11,500 by selling unspecified amounts of marijuana to “a person known to the Grand Jury …at or near Buckhannon.” Count 12 of the indictment – distribution of marijuana – accuses Gillum of selling marijuana to someone in exchange for $2,000, on Oct. 3, 2013. Then, on Oct. 5, 2013, Gillum allegedly sold marijuana to someone in exchange for $5,000, according to Count 13 of the indictment, which also charges him with distribution of the Schedule 1 controlled substance.

Count 14, the third distribution charge, alleges that on Oct. 14, 2013, Gillum sold marijuana to someone in exchange for $4,500.

On Oct. 17, 2013, Upshur County sheriff’s deputies arrested Gillum on three felony counts of delivery of marijuana, a controlled substance. The arrest came after deputies allegedly seized 8 pounds of marijuana, $4,000, six firearms, three cellphones and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia from Gillum over a period of several months, Sheriff David Coffman told media outlets at a press conference shortly after Gillum’s arrest.

But Gillum – whose arraignment is slated for 10 a.m. Friday at the Clarksburg office of U.S. District Court – isn’t the only person named in the indictment who is accused of selling marijuana in Upshur County.

Count 5 charges Beth Ann Brown with attempt to possess with intent to distribute marijuana “on or about July 30, 2010, at or near French Creek.” Brown is also named in Count 11, which charges her with possession with intent to distribute an unspecified quantity of marijuana “on or about” Nov. 15, 2012, at or near French Creek.

As part of a forfeiture allegation, the indictment also states that the federal government seized a 2002 Lexus ES 300 and cash in the amount of $4,000 on Nov. 15, 2012, from Brown’s residence. The government also seized $3,011 in cash from Buckley on Feb. 11, 2013, the indictment says.

Coffman on Wednesday said he was “pleased” with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department’s contribution to the investigation of the case.

“I am pleased that the feds came in and took over, and I’m pleased with what we accomplished with our investigation,” he said. “I think it’s going to be very helpful to the federal government in its prosecution of this case.

“Being a small department and not having all the resources we need all the time, it’s great having the opportunity to work with the federal government like this,” Coffman added, “and I appreciate all the support our federal government provides.”