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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                        Oct. 3, 2011                   

TWO SENTENCED TO PRISON ON FEDERAL DRUG CHARGES

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two women were sentenced today by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers on federal drug charges.  Crystal Nash, 22, of Warren, Michigan, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for distribution of crack cocaine and Sarita Lee Emery, 44, of Huntington was sentenced to 24 months in prison for aiding and abetting the distribution of a quantity of crack cocaine.  Nash and Emery both pleaded guilty in May.  Nash admitted that on August 13, 2010, she arrived at the Smokin’ Aces store that was located in Huntington, and handed a baggie of crack cocaine to an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in exchange for $600.  Emery admitted that at the time of the drug transaction, she accompanied co-defendant Nash.  Nash further admitted to telling the undercover agent that she could sell additional crack cocaine and that any future purchases would have to be arranged through Emery.  The crack cocaine was tested at a Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory and revealed that it was in fact cocaine with a weight of 7.8 grams.  Nash also admitted to participating in three additional sales of crack cocaine at the Smokin’ Aces store that occurred between August 13, 2010 and August 17, 2010.  Emery admitted to participating in five additional sales of crack cocaine - two as an aider and abettor and three as the actual distributor - between August 13, 2010 and September 9, 2010. 

This case is being prosecuted as part of a yearlong undercover operation that targeted illegal drugs and firearms crimes in the Huntington area.  The operation was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and assisted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Huntington Police Department, and various other law enforcement agencies.  It was announced to the public in March after a grand jury returned indictments against 55 defendants.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey handled the prosecution. 

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