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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Feb. 6, 2012                   

DETROIT MAN SENTENCED TO 57 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR OXYCODONE DISTRIBUTION

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –Ernest Moore, 44, of Detroit, was sentenced yesterday to 57 months in prison by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.  Moore previously pleaded guilty in November.  The defendant admitted that approximately two years prior to May 19, 2011, he was part of a drug trafficking enterprise operating in and around Huntington.  The defendant also admitted that the oxycodone that he distributed was typically obtained from sources in Detroit.  On May 9, 2011, the Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force (HVCDTF) used an informant to make a controlled purchase of 120 oxycodone tablets from the defendant’s associate, Vetina Baylous.  Moore admitted that Baylous contacted him by phone to order the oxycodone.  Investigators conducting surveillance observed Baylous as she met with co-defendant Jose Burks at a mutual location where Burks provided her with the 120 oxycodone tablets.  Following the drug transaction, law enforcement stopped a vehicle that was operated by Baylous at the time and recovered 156 30-milligram oxycodone tablets.  On May 10, 2011, an informant working for HVCDTF called the defendant to order 100 oxycodone tablets. Moore admitted that he and associate Burks met the informant at a parking lot in Huntington where he sold the 100 30-milligram tablets to the informant.

On May 19, 2011, HVCDTF investigators executed a search warrant at the residence shared by Moore and co-defendant Burks in South Point, Ohio.  Officers located and seized approximately 2,325 30-milligram oxycodone tablets and approximately $7,727 in United States currency from Burks’ bedroom.  An additional $1,099 in United States currency was seized from a jacket pocket in the living room closet at the residence. 

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. 

The Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force (HVCDTF) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecution. 

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