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Press Release

Boone County Man Admits Role In Heroin Conspiracy

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

Defendant Caught with Hydrocodone, Cash and Stolen Firearms

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  An Ashford, West Virginia man admitted today that he conspired with others to distribute heroin in and around Boone County, W.Va., announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  James Harry Barker, 63, pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston to conspiracy to distribute heroin.

In June of 2013, the U.S. 119 Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Barker’s home and a bar he operated called “Firebug’s,” both located in Ashford.  Officers seized cash and evidence of drug distribution such as drug packing materials.  Barker admitted that he sold several hundred heroin “stamps” in the Boone County area from the summer of 2012 through the summer of 2013.  He also admitted that the money seized from his home and business came from drug sales.

Barker faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on August 6, 2014. 

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. 

The U.S. 119 Drug Task Force conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated January 7, 2015