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Press Release

Detroit Man Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Fentanyl

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- A Detroit, Michigan man pled guilty today to a federal drug charge, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Joshua McCarver, 20, entered a guilty plea today to knowingly and intentionally distributing fentanyl in federal court in Huntington.

“Our partnership with the Huntington Police Department is critical to our efforts in Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.),” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “We anticipate prosecuting a significant number of fentanyl dealers over the next several months.  Perhaps these out-of-state fentanyl dealers will take notice and curtail their travel into West Virginia.” 

On February 19, 2018, officers with the Huntington Police Department’s Special Emphasis Unit utilized a confidential informant to arrange a controlled buy of heroin from McCarver.  McCarver arrived at the buy location in the West End of Huntington and provided the confidential informant with a substance he represented to be heroin in exchange for $70. Testing by the West Virginia State Police Lab confirmed the substance to actually be fentanyl. 

McCarver faces up to 20 years when he is sentenced on March 25, 2019.

Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

Fentanyl is a powerful, synthetic narcotic that works on the brain like other opioids, such as  morphine or heroin, but is 50 to 100 times more potent, and can easily cause an overdose. In 2016, the latest year for which numbers are available, fentanyl surpassed heroin as the deadliest drug in the United States, taking more than 18,000, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This case is being prosecuted as part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.), an enforcement surge that seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas.



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Updated December 17, 2018

Drug Trafficking