Former Pennington Gap police chief pleads guilty on federal drug charges

ABINGDON, Va. (WYMT/WJHL) - The former Pennington Gap Police Chief pleaded guilty Monday morning to federal drug related charges.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, William Bryan Young pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon, to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute oxycodone and one count of burglary of a pharmacy, related to the burglary of the Rite-Aid pharmacy in Pennington Gap, Virginia, on September 28, 2012.

Co-defendants, Kevin Andrew Young, 35, of Duffield, Va., and Chris Miles, 35, of Duffield, Va., also entered guilty pleas to one count of burglary of a pharmacy.

According to evidence presented at the hearings, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) began their investigation in the spring of 2012. The investigation determined that Young was a long-time user of controlled substances, had distributed controlled substances while employed as the police chief.

The U.S. Attorney's office also said investigators discovered that Young orchestrated the burglary of the Rite Aid pharmacy in Pennington Gap to obtain prescription pain killers.

On September 28, 2012, Young sent all other Pennington Gap Police Department personnel home to ensure that he would be the only police officer working the night shift. At approximately 2:50 a.m. a burglary of the Rite- Aid pharmacy occurred. Just prior to the burglary, Young contacted officers with the Lee County Sheriff's Office to determine their positions relative to the location of the pharmacy. After determining that there were no law enforcement officers near the pharmacy, William Bryan Young contacted Kevin Young, Jimmy Johnson and Chris Miles to tell them it was clear for them to break-in to the pharmacy.

Miles broke into the Rite-Aid pharmacy through the drive-thru window and stole approximately 5,000 oxycodone pills. Investigators say the police chief later received stolen pills from the pharmacy robbery.

On October 18, 2012, William Bryan Young, dressed in his police uniform, sold twenty oxycodone pills to a confidential informant cooperating with the ATF in their investigation. Shortly after, he was arrested by ATF agents at the Lee County Courthouse.

Investigators say, Young admitted to being an illegal user of controlled substances for a number of years and admitted to distributing pills. The money used by an undercover agent to purchase the pills was found in Young's police cruiser, along with more pills.

On October 18, 2012, officers executed a search warrant at Young's home in Duffield. During that search residence officers found 548 Percocet pills and firearms.

William Bryan Young faces a potential maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison and a fine up to $1,250,000.

Kevin Young and Chris Miles both face a potential maximum sentence of up to twenty years and a potential fine of up to $250,000.

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