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Press Release

Detroit Man Enters Guilty Plea To Federal Drug Charge

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

Defendant Kermit Ware III charged as part of Charleston’s West Side Drug Market Intervention initiative 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Detroit man who used a cell phone to commit a drug crime in July 2013 entered a guilty plea in Charleston federal court today, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced.  On July 10, 2013, Kermit Ware, III, used his cell phone to facilitate an illegal heroin transaction.  Ware, 25, pleaded guilty today before United States District Court Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.   

Ware is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14, 2014.  The defendant is being prosecuted as part of the Charleston area’s Drug Market Intervention (DMI) initiative.  Ware was designated a member of the DMI A-list, which comprises the most serious offenders identified in the initiative. 

The Kanawha Bureau of Investigation and the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks is in charge of the prosecution. 

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 last month in Charleston. 

Over the past several months, the Charleston Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have conducted undercover operations and completed investigations culminating in federal charges being filed against thirteen individuals.  

Drug Market Intervention, 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. 

The DMI strategy also included a staged community intervention that was held in December 2013 at 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 they obey a set of strict guidelines established by law enforcement.  The Dec. 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 organized and attended by federal, state and local law enforcement officials. 

Updated January 7, 2015