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Charleston man with history of drug trafficking, violence facing up to 30 years in federal prison

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A Charleston man with a history of drug trafficking and violent felony convictions has admitted in federal court to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Donnell Dwayne Diego, 35, faces up to 30 years in prison at sentencing, which is set for Aug. 7.

Goodwin said Diego was caught with oxycodone, crack cocaine and two firearms in his possession when police searched his home on Central Avenue in October 2012.

Seven months later,  he sold methamphetamine to an informant in his neighborhood, and in July 2013 was arrested after an undercover drug buy, Goodwin said. Following that arrest police searched his residence again, this time finding and seizing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, more than 50 grams of heroin, ammunition and more than $9,000.

Diego also admitted bringing methamphetamine and heroin from California to sell in and around Charleston, Goodwin said. On Nov. 5, task force officers at the San Diego International Airport in San Diego seized $22,350 from his carry-on bag as he disembarked from a flight.

Then, on Nov. 18, Goodwin said task force officers in Nicholas County executed a search warrant at Diego’s Scenic Highway residence in Summersville following several undercover methamphetamine purchases from an individual staying at the residence, seizing 15 guns, more than 30 grams of methamphetamine, nearly 10 grams of heroin, and $16,387 in cash. Diego was arrested a short distance away from the residence after a police tactical squad disabled his vehicle by shooting it.

Diego had been previously convicted of several felony offenses in California including burglary and grand theft in 2003 and drug trafficking in 2004 and 2007, Goodwin added.

The Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) in Charleston, the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force in Summersville, the San Diego Integrated Narcotic Task Force in San Diego, California and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Hanks is in charge of the prosecution.