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Press Release

Detroit Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Fentanyl in Huntington

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Detroit, Michigan man pled guilty to selling fentanyl in Huntington last year, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Mashal Franchuit Thomas, 25, pled guilty to distribution of fentanyl in federal court in Huntington.

“Thomas admitted to distributing up to 400 grams of heroin and fentanyl in Huntington over a period of almost three years,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Another Detroit drug dealer responsible for wreaking havoc on our people.  There’s no doubt that the City of Huntington and surrounding area are much safer as a result of this conviction.”

Thomas admitted that on February 8, 2018, an informant contacted him to purchase heroin.  Thomas agreed to meet the informant in the area of 14th Street West in Huntington and, when the informant arrived, Thomas distributed what was purported to be 5 grams of heroin.  After forensic testing, the substance distributed by Thomas was discovered to actually be fentanyl, a powerful opiate painkiller. 

Thomas further admitted that he was involved in distributing heroin and fentanyl in the Huntington area between July of 2015 and March of 2018, and that he was responsible for the distribution of up to 400 grams of heroin and fentanyl in Huntington during that period. 

Thomas faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on November 25, 2019.

The Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation.   United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecution.

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


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Updated August 26, 2019

Drug Trafficking