News and Press Releases

DOJ Seal


Betsy C. Jividen

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist


December 4, 2009


Michigan Resident Convicted on Crack Cocaine Charges


WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — An Ypsalanti, Michigan, resident was convicted on two counts after a two and one-half day trial by a Federal trial jury in United States District Court in Wheeling before Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr.

Acting United States Attorney Betsy C. Jividen announced that: MICHAEL CASSANOVA DYSON was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine between January of 2009 to June of 2009 in the Northern District of West Virginia and one count of distribution of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of Riverview Towers in Wheeling on January 10, 2009.

DYSON, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 10 years to life imprisonment and a fine of $4,000,000 on the conspiracy count and 1 to 40 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000 on the distribution within 1,000 feet of Riverview Towers count.

This trial involved a 5-month investigation into crack cocaine distribution in the North Wheeling, Wheeling Island and Woodsdale areas of West Virginia. The distribution involved out-of-state groups with ties to Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, who often utilized local residents to assist in the distribution. DYSON was part of the Detroit group that supplied crack cocaine to individuals in Wheeling, mainly operating from an apartment in the 500 block of Market Street and a National Road apartment in Woodsdale. Testimony at trial revealed hundreds of transactions dating back to 2008.

During the entire investigation, more than 30 controlled buys were made with seizures of more than 50 grams of crack cocaine and nearly $5,000 in drug proceeds. DYSON is the sixteenth person convicted by the investigation which is still ongoing.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr. The case was investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug & Violent Crime Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Task Force consists of officers from the Wheeling Police Department, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.