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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Dec. 12, 2011                   


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Jose Taurus Burks, 38, of Detroit, was sentenced today to 63 months in prison by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers for conspiracy to distribute a quantity of oxycodone.  Burks pleaded guilty in September.  The defendant admitted that prior to May 19, 2011, he participated in a drug trafficking ring operating in and around Huntington, W.Va. and South Pointe, OH.  On May 9, 2011, an informant working with investigators from the Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force (HVCDTF) arranged to make a controlled purchase of 120 30-milligram oxycodone tablets from the defendant’s associate.  At the time, investigators conducting surveillance observed the defendant and his associate meet at a prearranged location where Burks provided the known associate with 120 oxycodone tablets.  In addition, on May 10, 2011, an informant working with the HVCDTF contacted the defendant’s associate to purchase 100 oxycodone tablets.  The informant subsequently met the defendant and his associate at a location in Huntington, where Burks’ associate sold the informant the 100 30-milligram tablets.  On May 19, 2011, investigators with the HVCDTF executed a search warrant at the defendant’s South Point residence, where they seized approximately 2,325 30-milligram oxycodone tablets and nearly $7,727 cash from Burks’ bedroom.        

This case was investigated by the Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force (HVCDTF).  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecution. 

This case was prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, remain committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District. 

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