After Deems announced that the drugs were stolen from the evidence room, Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller said she was forced to dismiss drug cases going back 15 months.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration's tactical diversion squad eventually took over the investigation, and Brown resigned after being arrested in connection to theft.
Dwane Tinsley had represented her until he was appointed U.S. magistrate judge for the southern district of West Virginia earlier this month. J. Miles Morgan substituted as counsel.
Brown faced up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Raleigh County Circuit Judge John Hutchison, Brown's father, spoke during the sentencing, a secretary in Faber's office said.
She has said, according to court documents, that she is addicted to opiates and had stolen oxycodone and other prescription pain pills from the Beckley Police Department's evidence room on several other occasions.
In 2011, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced the Bluefield Pill Initiative, to target pill trafficking in Mercer, Wyoming and McDowell counties. The initiative, led by the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, is made up of the West Virginia State Police, sheriffs' departments in the three counties and the Bluefield and Princeton police departments.
"Judge Faber concluded that probation was sufficient. I don't get to decide how defendants are sentenced, and I won't second-guess Judge Faber," Goodwin said in a written statement. "What I can do and will do is continue prosecuting prescription drug crime as aggressively as I possibly can throughout southern West Virginia."
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.