Man sentenced for role in drug ring
by John Conley
A New Richmond man was sentenced to five to 75 years in prison for his role in a drug distribution ring based in New Richmond, according to Wyoming County Prosecuting Attorney Rick Staton.
Frederick Lee Lumbo was sentenced by Special Judge Charles Vickers as part of Lumbos guilty plea. In addition to his sentence, Lumbo forfeited all money and assets seized at the time of his arrest.
Mr. Lumbo was a part of a significant distribution ring based in the New Richmond area, according to Staton. This ring had multi-state connections. Lumbos arrest and conviction are a result of a multi-year investigation by the Southern West Virginia Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force. At least one other member of the ring has agreed to plead guilty, while the others remain in jail awaiting trial.
Significant quantities of drugs, cash and other assets were found in the residence where Lumbo was staying at the time of his arrest.
In addition, at least three overdose deaths occurred at the residence. Staton says shutting down the New Richmond ring was a top priority of the Task Force and his office. It took time to build our case, wait on Lumbos connections to arrive from other states, and record the drug transactions, Staton said. Drug investigations can take years to develop as we work our way up the distribution chain. I know that frustrates the community, but being patient and building a meticulous, well-documented case pays off.
Lumbos plea makes the 127th drug conviction since Staton took office in 2009, and the 37th in the past year. All of our convictions have been the result of guilty pleas except for one case. In that case we offered the defendant to plead guilty to one of his three charges in exchange for a prison sentence of 1-15 years. He rejected it. We went to trial and he was convicted on two counts. So now he faces double the sentence, and we intend to push for it.
Staton says the Southern West Virginia Drug and Violent Crime Task Force is doing a great job for the county. The Wyoming County Sheriffs Department is a part of the Task Force. The Task Force handles the bulk of the countys drug cases. Staton gave particular praise to Captain Don Cook, a Wyoming County Deputy assigned to the Task Force. He handles most of our drug cases. His investigations are solid and well-developed. The work of the Task Force and Don Cook make the work of our office a lot easier.
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