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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

Sharon L. Potter
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

 


June 16, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Cleveland Resident Arrested on Drug Charges
Six Defendants Named in Federal Indictment

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — A Cleveland, Ohio, resident was arrested on charges contained in an Indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury on June 2, 2009.

United States Attorney Sharon L. Potter announced that JOHN POINTER, also known as “NEPHEW,” was named in a 22-count Indictment, along with five co-defendants. DESMOND A. THOMAS, age 20, also of Cleveland, who is already in custody, was named in the Indictment. Law enforcement authorities are seeking the arrest of WILLIAM A. WILEY, III, age 48, of Bellaire, Ohio; and MICHAEL CASSANOVA DYSON, age 37, who were both charged in the Indictment. In addition, DARWIN DWAYNE HUTCHINS, also known as “DEE,” and JOHNELL JAMES ADAMS, also known as “SLIM,” were arrested last week on charges contained in the Indictment (please see press releases dated June 11, 2009).

Count One of the Indictment alleges that all six defendants conspired to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base from January 2009 to June 2009 in the Wheeling area.

POINTER was named in seven additional counts of the Indictment. Counts Four, Eleven, and Twelve of the Indictment allege that POINTER distributed cocaine base within 1,000 feet of Riverview Towers in Wheeling on February 20, 2009; on February 26, 2009; on February 28, 2009; on April 8, 2009; and on April 15, 2009. Counts Eighteen and Twenty of the Indictment allege that POINTER unlawfully used the public telephone system to distribute cocaine base and to conspire to distribute cocaine base on April 8, 2009, and April 15, 2009.

THOMAS was named in three additional counts of the Indictment. Count Sixteen of the Indictment alleges that THOMAS unlawfully used the public telephone system to distribute cocaine base and to conspire to distribute cocaine base on April 8, 2009. Count Seventeen of the Indictment alleges that THOMAS distributed cocaine base on April 8, 2009, in Wheeling. Count Twenty-Two of the Indictment alleges that THOMAS possessed with intent to distribute five or more grams of cocaine base on April 16, 2009, in Wheeling.

WILEY was named in two additional counts of the Indictment. Counts Thirteen and Fourteen of the Indictment allege that WILEY distributed cocaine base within 1,000 feet of Woodsdale Elementary School on two occasions on March 17, 2009.

DYSON was named in one additional count of the Indictment. Count Two of the Indictment alleges that DYSON aided and abetted the distribution of cocaine base within 1,000 feet of Riverview Towers in Wheeling on January 10, 2009.

In addition, the Indictment includes a forfeiture allegation wherein the United States seeks to forfeit $1,966 in United States Currency sized from THOMAS on April 6, 2009; and a money judgment in the amount of at least $15,000.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years to life imprisonment and a fine of $4,000,000 on the conspiracy count; a maximum penalty of four years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on each of the phone counts; a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000 on the distribution count; and a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000 on each of the distribution counts that occurred within 1,000 feet of a protected location.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr. The case was investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug & Violent Crime Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Task Force consists of officers from the Wheeling Police Department, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

It should be noted that the charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and that each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

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