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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Sept. 17, 2012                   

HUNTINGTON MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL FIREARM AND ILLEGAL DRUG POSSESSION CHARGES

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin today announced that a Huntington man pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and possession with intent to distribute heroin.  Gregory Donearl Easterling also known as “Smoke” and “Dion A. Foster,” 37, of Huntington, pleaded guilty today in federal court. On December 21, 2011, members of the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force conducted a search of defendant’s Huntington residence.  During the search of the residence, law enforcement officers found approximately 6.8 grams of heroin located on an open kitchen shelf, an additional six bundles of heroin, three firearms and digital scales.  Easterling admitted to law enforcement that he intended to sell the heroin.   

Also during the December 2011 search of the defendant’s residence, law enforcement officers seized a loaded .45 caliber pistol that was stored in the rail of the defendant’s bed.  Easterling admitted that he was responsible for a total of 27 grams of heroin and 60 30-milligram oxycodone pills. 

Easterling faces up to life in prison and a $1,250,000 fine when he is sentenced on December 17, 2012 by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

This case is being 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 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is 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. 

This case is also being brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.

The Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force conducted the investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey.

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