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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


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


November 18, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Two Named in Firearms and Heroin Indictment

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — Two persons were named in separate Indictments returned on November 15, 2011, by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that:

TRISTAN JAMELL LEWIS, age 26, of Brampton, Ontario, was charged in a 16-count Indictment with various firearm-related offenses that are alleged to have occurred from September 1, 2010, to February 15, 2011, in Berkeley County. LEWIS faces seven counts of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm, four counts of selling firearms to an out-of-state resident, four counts of selling firearms without a license, and one charge of conspiracy.

If convicted, LEWIS faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 each on nine of the counts; and a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 each on seven of the counts . The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul T. Camilletti and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

JOSEPH GRANT BARNHART, age 33, of Hedgesville, West Virginia, was named in a two-count heroin Indictment. Count One of the Indictment alleges that BARNHART distributed heroin on March 21, 2011, in Hedgesville. Count Two of the Indictment alleges that BARNHART possessed heroin with the intent to distribute on March 21, 2011, in Hedgesville.

If convicted, BARNHART faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000 on each count of the Indictment. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas O. Mucklow. The case was investigated by the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, consisting of officers from the West Virginia State Police - Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Martinsburg Police Department, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

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

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