Grant County man accused of distributing more than 50 grams of meth

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GRANT COUNTY, W.Va. (WHSV) — A Grant County man faces a possibility of life in prison for multiple charges of distributing methamphetamine.

According to the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of West Virginia, 38-year-old Lawrence Allen Keplinger, from Lahmansville, was indicted this week.

Keplinger is accused of distributing crystal meth in Grant County from July 2017 to March 2019. He's also accused of possessing a .17 caliber rifle, a .375 caliber bolt-action rifle, and an unregistered .22 caliber long rifle while prohibited from owning firearms in West Virginia.

Those weapons were seized in March 2019 in Grant County.

Keplinger is charged with four counts of “Distribution of Methamphetamine,” one count of “Distribution of Methamphetamine” involving more than five grams of “crystal meth” or” ice,” one count of “Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine” involving more than 50 grams of “crystal meth” or “ice,” one count of “Unlawful Possession of a Firearm,” and one count of “Possession of Unregistered Firearm.”

According to prosecutors, the distribution charges each carry a fine of up to $1,000,000 and up to 20 years of prison, the "crystal meth" charges carries a fine of up to $5 million and up to 40 years in prison, the possession with intent to distribute charge carries a fine of up to $10 million and up to life in prison, and the firearm charge carries up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Potomac Highlands Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, and the West Virginia State Police investigated.

Keplinger's case will be prosecuted in federal court.