Charleston Heroin Dealer Sentenced To Federal Prison
Defendant Brandon “Fresh” Solomon was prosecuted as part of Charleston’s West Side Drug Market Intervention initiative
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston man was sentenced to six months in federal prison for distribution of heroin, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today. Brandon Christopher Solomon, 19, also known as “Fresh,” sold heroin to a police informant three separate times in August of 2013. One sale took place inside the Charleston Town Center Mall and two others took place on the West Side of Charleston. Solomon previously pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin in December of 2013. The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.
Solomon was prosecuted as part of the Charleston area’s Drug Market Intervention (DMI) initiative. Solomon was designated a member of the DMI A-list comprised of the most serious offenders identified in the initiative. The DMI initiative was launched in February 2012 by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster, in collaboration with other federal, state, local law enforcement agencies and leaders representing several West Side community development organizations. A continuation of the DMI initiative was announced in December of 2013 in Charleston. Over the course of the most recent DMI initiative, the Charleston Police Department and other law enforcement agencies conducted undercover operations and completed investigations that resulted in federal charges being filed against thirteen individuals.
The DMI strategy also included a staged community intervention held at the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church on Charleston’s West Side. The community intervention meeting offered a rare second chance for five low-level, non-violent offenders to end their criminal activity and avoid being prosecuted, if a strict set of guidelines set by law enforcement are obeyed. The December 12, 2013 community intervention call-in meeting was attended by offenders’ relatives, concerned citizens, and faith-based leaders from the West Side community. The call-in meeting was coordinated and attended by federal, state and local law enforcement officials.
DMI, first implemented in High Point, North Carolina, and replicated with success in several other cities, including Huntington, W.Va., is a strategic problem-solving initiative aimed at closing down drug markets that breed crimes of violence and disorder.