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William J. Ihlenfeld, II

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Chris Zumpetta-Parr, Public Affairs Specialist


March 31, 2014

Clarksburg Resident Sentenced to More than 10 Years in Prison on Heroin and Firearms Charges

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II announced that Judge Keeley sentenced JUSTIN ZACHARY ROSA a/k/a “PEE WEE,” age 20, of Clarksburg, to 125 months in prison and three years of supervised release for “Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin” and “Possession of a Firearm by an Unlawful User and Addict to Heroin.” Judge Irene Keeley also ordered the forfeiture of $4,822.46 in United States currency which constitutes proceeds obtained from the illegal activity, a cellular phone, a Smith and Wesson revolver and $4,720 in counterfeit U.S. currency. ROSA was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation to a Federal institution.

In other sentencings:

LEROY ROUSSEAU a/k/a “BLACK,” age 25, of Clarksburg and formerly of Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 84 months in prison and six years of supervised release for “Employment and Use of a Person Under 18 Years of Age in Drug Operations” and “Felon in Possession of a Firearm.” As part of his plea, ROUSSSEAU forfeited a Haskell .45 caliber pistol as property used to commit the charged offenses. ROUSSEAU was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation to a Federal institution. ROUSSEAU’s co-defendants, FRANCESCA STRAKAL a/k/a “ROCKY,” age 21, and TALYA KEENER, age 22, of Clarksburg, were sentenced to three years of probation for “Maintaining a Drug-Involved Premise.”

NICOLE BENNETT, age 33, of Clarksburg, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for “Intentional Harassment to Dissuade Another Person from Assisting in Criminal Prosecution.”

“Ensuring the safety of witnesses is paramount and persons who intentionally harass federal witnesses, particular juvenile witnesses, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld in reaction to the sentencing of BENNETT.

These cases were prosecuted by Criminal Chief Shawn A. Morgan and investigated by the Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

RONALD STARKEY, age 29, of Morgantown, West Virginia, was sentenced to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release for “Felon in Possession of a Firearm.” This case was investigated by the ATF and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda E. Wesley

BEN PHARES, age 27, of Kingwood, West Virginia, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for “Distribution of Heroin within 1,000 feet of a Protected Location.” The case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police-Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and prosecuted by Wesley.

MICHAEL MATHENA, age 28, of Clarksburg, entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in prison for “Attempted Escape.” MATHENA was confined at the Bannum Place Halfway House in Clarksburg where he was serving the remainder of a sentence for violating supervised release conditions for a federal drug office. On November 14, 2013, MATHENA left the halfway house and did not return and was arrested on November 19, 2013, in Monongah, West Virginia. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Cogar and investigated by the United States Marshals Service.

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