CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – U.S. District Judge Thomas Kleeh decided Tuesday that a Pennsylvania man has spent enough time behind bars for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy, United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced on his first day back in office.

Lance Smith, 48 of Confluence, Penn. pleaded guilty in April 2021 to one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Cocaine Base.” Smith admitted to working with others to distribute heroin and cocaine base, also known as “crack,” from March 2018 to September 2020 in Monongalia County and elsewhere.

Kleeh sentenced Smith to time served. Smith was being held in the Central Regional Jail.

Smith was one of 17 people initially indicted for their alleged roles in the ring. Of the 17, 16 have pleaded guilty, 10 have been sentenced, six are awaiting sentencing and one person was found not guilty at trial.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mon Metro Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force and the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office investigated the ring.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.