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Press Release

Detroit man pleads guilty in Federal court to heroin charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
Defendant is eighth convicted in Detroit to Huntington heroin ring

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Detroit man who participated in a heroin conspiracy entered a guilty plea today in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia, announced Unite States Attorney Booth Goodwin. Warren G. Howard, Jr., 24, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to distributing heroin.

During 2013, Howard conspired with others, including Kenneth E. Baxter, to distribute heroin which had been transported from Detroit to the Huntington area. On May 20, 2013, a confidential informant contacted Baxter to arrange a drug deal. Howard and Baxter met the informant in the parking lot of a Kroger located at 1st Street and 7th Avenue in Huntington. The informant entered Howard’s vehicle and Howard sold heroin to the informant.

Howard faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced in federal court in Huntington on March 7, 2016.

Multiple individuals have been convicted of federal drug offenses as a result of the investigation, including Paul A. Roberts, who pleaded guilty in March of 2015 to maintaining a residence for the distribution of heroin, Dustin S. Barton, who pleaded guilty in August of 2015 to distributing heroin, and Sean L. Gist, who pleaded guilty in September of 2015 to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

Those sentenced to federal prison as a result of the investigation include Baxter, who was sentenced to seven years and three months, Coty E. Richardson, who was sentenced to five years and ten months, Ramone L. Wells who was sentenced to four years, and Pricilla Lee Dylan who was sentenced to two years and nine months.

The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force, United States Postal Service, West Virginia State Police, and Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams handled the prosecution.

This case was 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.

Updated December 8, 2015

Drug Trafficking