CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Denise Marie Cottrill, 64, of Charleston, was sentenced today to two years and nine months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Cottrill admitted a role in a large-scale drug trafficking organization (DTO) that operated in Kanawha County.
According to court documents and court testimony, Cottrill twice sold a total of approximately 7.2 grams of methamphetamine to confidential informants in January 2021, each time at her Charleston residence. On February 5, 2021, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Cottrill’s home and confiscated approximately 23 grams of methamphetamine. Cottrill admitted that she intended to distribute the methamphetamine.
Cottrill was among 17 people convicted following the dissolution of the DTO, which distributed more than 160 pounds of methamphetamine, along with quantities of fentanyl and other drugs, primarily in the Charleston, Rand and St Albans areas from March 2019 to September 2021. The investigation into the DTO resulted in the seizure of more than 12.3 pounds of methamphetamine, about 34 firearms, more than $86,000 in cash and multiple vehicles, including three motorcycles. The investigation also foiled a plot by four of the defendants to murder a person on Charleston’s west side on July 4, 2021.
US Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement, praising the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Charleston Police Department, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) , the United States Marshals Service and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin returned the verdict. Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua Hanks and Alex Hamner prosecuted the case.
The investigation was part of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement (OCDETF) task force. Established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-stage attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, OCDETF is the cornerstone of the Department of Justice’s strategy to reduce drug use. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in collaboration with state and local law enforcement agencies. The primary mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that pose a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.
A copy of this press release is available on the website of the US Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching Case #2:21-cr-172.