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R. Booth Goodwin II, United States Attorney
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               CONTACT: Melvin Smith
June 6, 2011                                                                                                                   melvin.smith@usdoj.gov

MASON COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON ON FEDERAL DRUG CHARGES

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dennis Lester Barker, 56, of Gallipolis Ferry, Mason County, West Virginia was sentenced today to six months in prison by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers for cultivation of marijuana.  Barker pleaded guilty in February to the charge.  On September 9, 2009, members of the West Virginia State Police were conducting aerial marijuana eradication operations in southern Mason County.  Upon flying over Barker’s Gallipolis Ferry residence, officers observed several marijuana plants growing in a garden plot behind the residence.  Law enforcement ground units followed up on the aerial search and seized approximately 165 mature plants from the defendant’s property. 

Barker waived his Miranda rights and admitted to growing the plants for both his personal use and compensation.  

The investigation was conducted by the West Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecution. 

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