Steubenville man sentenced for his role in a drug conspiracy
WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Michael Bernard Barnett, of Steubenville, Ohio, was sentenced today to 41 months of incarceration for his role in a crack cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl distribution operation, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.
Barnett, age 44, also known as “Gator,” pled guilty to one count of “Distribution of Cocaine Base” in January 2020. Barnett admitted to selling cocaine base, also known as “crack,” in January 2019 in Brooke County.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danae DeMasi-Lemon and Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Drug Enforcement Administration; the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative; the West Virginia State Police; the Marshall County Drug & Violent Crimes task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative; The Ohio Valley Drug & Violent Crimes task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative; the Jefferson County, Ohio, Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force; the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office; the Brooke County Sheriff’s Office; the Weirton Police Department; and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police investigated.
The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.
U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presided.