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August 20, 2019Huntington, WV, United StatesNarcotics

ICE HSI BEST seizure results in indictment of retired Cabell County deputy sheriff and son

1.2 kilos of fentanyl discovered in the home

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Agents and officers assigned to the Mountain and Old Dominion U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) seized 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, resulting in a recent indictment announced by United States Attorney Mike Stuart. A federal grand jury sitting in Huntington has returned a six count superseding indictment charging Steven Dale McCallister, 45, and his father, Larry McCallister, 76, a retired Cabell County Deputy Sheriff, with various drug and gun crimes.

Steven Dale McCallister was arrested June 12, 2019, at the McCallister home in Barboursville following the execution of a search warrant on the residence. During the search, law enforcement officers seized approximately 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl, 300 grams of methamphetamine, more than $8,000 in cash, $4,000 of which was from an earlier undercover purchase of fentanyl. A Smith and Wesson, Model 686, .357 revolver was also seized. Larry McCallister was at home and present during the search.

The superseding indictment charges Steven McCallister with distribution of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted on all counts, he faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of approximately $4,040 in U.S. currency, the seized firearm and a 2007 Cadillac.

Larry McCallister is charged in the superseding indictment with maintaining a drug-involved premises and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. If convicted on all charges, he faces a sentence of 5 to 40 years in prison.

“No one may assume to be above the law, specifically those entrusted with enforcing our laws and ensuring our communal safety,” said HSI Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Raymond Villanueva. “It is particularly detestable to see trusted community members and a former law enforcement officer seeking to profit from such a destructive and sure poison. I am exceptionally proud of the specialized skills unified in the new Mountain and Old Dominion BEST that identified this poison and prevented its distribution.”

“This is a significant case on many levels and a substantial event for the greater Huntington region,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Had the fentanyl in this case hit the streets, potentially more than 750,000 people could have lost their lives to overdose. Massive quantities of fentanyl. Massive quantities of methamphetamine. And a gun. All of this incredibly heinous activity was based out of a normal house on a normal street in Barboursville. There was nothing special about this house in this typical neighborhood, in this All-American town, except that it was a haven for the poisons of death and the home of a retired Cabell County Deputy Sheriff.”

The investigation was conducted by members of the HSI-led Mountain and Old Dominion BEST, Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team, the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West and the West Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorney R. Gregory McVey is prosecuting the case.

The primary mission of the BEST is to combat emerging and existing transnational criminal organizations by employing the full range of federal, state, local, tribal and international law enforcement authorities and resources in the fight to identify, investigate, disrupt and dismantle these organizations at every level of operation.

The Mountain and Old Dominion BEST, activated in April 2019, is led by the HSI Resident Agent in Charge office in Charleston, W.Va and is one of 65 BESTs nationwide.

Please note: An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.