FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Jan. 21, 2014
TWO CHARLESTON MEN ENTER GUILTY PLEAS TO FEDERAL DRUG DISTRIBUTION CHARGES
Defendants charged as part of Charleston’s West Side Drug Market Intervention initiative
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two Charleston men each face up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty today to federal drug charges, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced. Deandre D. Coleman, 22, pleaded guilty to distribution of crack cocaine. In a separate hearing, defendant Jamaal D. Davis, also known as “DT,” pleaded guilty to heroin distribution. Both men pleaded guilty in front of United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. in Charleston federal court.
Davis and Coleman were prosecuted as part of the Charleston area’s Drug Market Intervention (DMI) initiative. The defendants were designated members of the DMI A-list, which comprises the most serious offenders identified in the initiative.
On July 9, 2013, Coleman sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant working in cooperation with the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) in exchange for $100. A lab test determined that the crack cocaine weighed .52 grams.
Davis, 22, sold heroin to a police informant on June 13, 2013 in exchange for $180. The illegal drug transaction took place on Roane Street in Charleston.
The Charleston Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, including MDENT, have conducted undercover operations and completed investigations culminating in federal charges being filed against thirteen individuals.
The DMI initiative was launched in February 2012 by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster, in collaboration with other federal, state, local law enforcement agencies and leaders representing several West Side community development organizations. A continuation of the DMI initiative was announced last month in Charleston.
The DMI strategy also included a staged community intervention that was held at the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church on Charleston’s West Side. The community intervention meeting offered a rare second chance for five low-level, non-violent offenders to end their criminal activity and avoid being prosecuted, if a strict set of guidelines set by law enforcement are obeyed. The Dec. 12 community intervention call-in meeting was attended by offenders’ relatives, concerned citizens, and faith-based leaders from the West Side community. The call-in meeting was coordinated and attended by federal, state and local law enforcement officials.
Davis and Coleman are scheduled to be sentenced on April 22, 2014.
Assistant United States Attorney John Frail is in charge of the prosecutions.