CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The brother of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to distributing drugs and will remain on home confinement until his sentencing June 25.
However, that arrangement was made tenuous after Carl Tomblin, 50, of Chapmanville, tested positive Tuesday morning for a non-prescribed controlled substance.
One of the first questions U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver asked Tomblin was had he taken any drugs other than those prescribed to him by a doctor in the last 24-hours. He told the judge no. However, near the end of the hearing, when the judge read the pre-sentencing report, he noted that a drug test Tomblin took before the hearing showed benzodiazapine, better known as Valium.
Copenhaver made it clear if Tomblin tests positive for any unauthorized drugs again he would be going to prison with an increased sentence.
Tomblin pleaded guilty to one count of distributing oxymorphone to an informant with the U.S. 119 Task Force on Dec. 6. However, Tomblin admitted in court he sold the drug one pill at a time to the same informant on at least five separate occasions between December and January. Tomblin estimated he sold between 30-40 oxymorphone pills between Jan. 2013 and Jan. 2014.
Tomblin faces up to 20-years in prison and a $1 million fine. That all depends on his cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Copenhaver said so far Tomblin hasn’t accepted responsibility for his crime. Not only did he test positive for the drug Tuesday morning, he also checked himself out of a drug rehab in Huntington earlier this month, 25 days into a program scheduled to last six months to one year.
The judge reluctantly agreed to allow Tomblin to post $10,000 bond and remain on home confinement until his sentencing. However, Copenhaver warned Tomblin: “There will be no fooling around with you!”
Tomblin’s mother and father were in the courtroom for the hearing.