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Press Release

Akron man indicted by federal grand jury in connection with Huntington overdoses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – An Akron, Ohio, man was indicted today in connection with a rash of overdoses in Huntington in August, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. A federal grand jury sitting in Huntington indicted Bruce Lamar Griggs, 21, on one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl.

The indictment alleges that on or about August 15, 2016, at or near Huntington, Griggs, also known as “Benz,” conspired with others to distribute heroin and fentanyl. The indictment further alleges that serious injury resulted from the use of those drugs. A copy of the indictment, which is publicly available, is attached to this release.

Griggs has been in federal custody since his arrest in Ohio in late August on a federal criminal complaint. According to an affidavit submitted in support of the criminal complaint by Huntington Police Department (“HPD”) Sgt. Paul Hunter, the investigation of Griggs began August 15, 2016, when the HPD responded to a large number of overdoses in a short period of time in the area of St. Louis Avenue and Marcum Terrace. The affidavit states that one of the overdose victims identified the seller of the heroin as Griggs and that numerous others provided corroborating information linking the heroin to Griggs. The affidavit also states that surveillance video shows a person matching Griggs’ description engaging in activity indicative of hand-to-hand drug distribution in the Marcum Terrace area shortly before the overdoses began.

The investigation is being conducted by the HPD and the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey is in charge of the prosecution.

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 and heroin. 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 and heroin in communities across the Southern District.

NOTE: The criminal complaint and the indictment in this case are only accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court proceeding.

Updated September 20, 2016

Drug Trafficking