HUNTINGTON — A former Cabell County sheriff’s deputy and his son have been indicted by a federal grand jury on drug charges alleging they distributed fentanyl and methamphetamine from their Barboursville home, according to Mike Stuart, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Larry McCallister, 76, a retired deputy, is charged in the superseding indictment with maintaining a drug-involved premise and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. If convicted, he faces a sentence of five to 40 years in prison.
Stuart, speaking at a news conference Thursday, was not sure how long McCallister was with the sheriff’s department but said he has been retired for some time.
His son, Steven Dale McCallister, 45, is charged 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, he faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of approximately $4,040, a firearm seized during a search warrant and a 2001 Cadillac.
Steven McCallister was arrested June 12 at the McCallister home on Carper Lane in Barboursville following the execution of a search warrant on the residence, which Stuart said was prompted by a tip from a concerned citizen.
During the search, officers seized approximately 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl, 300 grams of methamphetamine and over $8,000 in cash — $4,000 of which was from an earlier undercover purchase of fentanyl. A Smith & Wesson revolver was also seized. Larry McCallister was home at the time of the search, Stuart said.
During a news conference outside the Huntington federal building Thursday, Stuart said the amount of fentanyl seized could kill 750,000 people.
Stuart said the fact Larry McCallister is former law enforcement makes the situation even more diabolical, but noted he will be treated like any other drug dealer.
“The idea that this former law enforcement officer who took that oath and raised his right hand, said, 'I will uphold the law of this city, I will protect our citizens and I will make sure our kids who are walking our streets are safe from the time that they leave their homes to the time they get home' — the idea that this guy was aiding and abetting the distribution of drugs like fentanyl is unconscionable,” Stuart said.
Stuart said while many think the drug issues in West Virginia are from dealers from out of state, many West Virginians are also contributing to the problem — and they will be prosecuted just like a dealer from Detroit, he said.
“One of the reasons we want people to see this picture is because it’s every street in West Virginia,” Stuart said, referring to a Google Maps printout of where the McCallister house is. “It’s every street in Charleston. It’s every street in Huntington. We want folks to understand that this U.S. attorney values the input of our citizens. So if you suspect activity like this going on, don’t investigate it yourself. Call local law enforcement. Call the FBI. Call the State Police. Call folks who will investigate this matter.”
Stuart said they will push for the harshest sentence they can get.
The investigation was conducted by members of the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — Homeland Security Investigations, the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West and the West Virginia State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Gregory McVey is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal charge made against a person by a grand jury. It does not establish guilt or innocence.
Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.