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Pastor accused of selling drugs had urged more drug arrests

 

Police say a Beckley pastor who has railed against drug use in the past was selling prescription medication.

Rev. Rudolph Poindexter, the pastor of the Second Baptist Church, was distributing the drugs to 11 Raleigh County residents, who then sold the drugs to users, according to Raleigh County law enforcement.

Members of the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Unit searched Poindexter’s home on South Meadows Street in Beckley on Monday and found several types of prescription medication as well as cash, according to Detective S. Whitt, of the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Unit. Whitt wouldn’t say how much cash was found.

The task force is made up of members from the Beckley Police Department, Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police. Whitt said they had been investigating Poindexter and other people involved in the case for about two years. Confidential informants were used during the investigation.

Police have not made an arrest but say they hope for a multiple indictments.

In a 2008 Register-Herald story on drug activity in East Beckley, Poindexter criticized the police for not making more drug arrests, saying he had seen drug transactions in town with his own eyes. He said he didn’t understand why police didn’t “pull them over and bust them on a possession charge.”

He also referred to drug users and dealers as “drug people.”

“People will stop the citizens in the area [for no reason] to check them out, and then you’ve got these drug people coming and out of the area and police aren’t addressing it,” he said.

In 2010, during an NAACP celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Poindexter decried a decline in moral and family values. He also faulted pharmaceutical companies for pushing pills on patients, the Register-Herald reported.

He said in 2006 that he opposed low-income housing units because they attract drug dealers.

Lt. David Farley, chief of detectives, sent a news release with basic information on the allegations and said he did not have additional information. Tom Truman, chief assistant prosecutor for Raleigh County, said his office hadn’t been contacted for legal advice so he had no information.

The Register-Herald previously reported the allegations.

Reach Erin Beck at

304-348-5163,

Facebook.com/erinbeckwv, or follow @erinbeckwv on Twitter.