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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Philadelphia man admits to heroin and fentanyl distribution

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Richard Gaines, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has admitted to opioid distribution, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Gaines, age 45, pled guilty today to one count of “Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin and Fentanyl.” Gaines admitted to having heroin and fentanyl in June 2017 in Berkeley County.

Gaines faces up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

These charges are the result of investigations supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) under the Attorney General-led Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS)/Special Operations Division (SOD) Project Clean Sweep.  This initiative seeks to reduce the supply of synthetic opioids in “hot spot” areas previously identified by the Attorney General of the United States, thereby reducing drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths, and identify wholesale distribution networks and sources of supply operating nationally and internationally. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, the West Virginia State Police, and the Martinsburg Police Department investigated.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Updated July 9, 2020