Detroit man sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for heroin conspiracy
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Detroit man who led a conspiracy to distribute heroin in Boone County was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Daymeon Damar Johnson, 31, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin.
Johnson came to Boone County from Detroit in 2013 and began selling oxycodone from the residence he shared with codefendant Joyce Ann Zornes on Harper Lane in Seth. At some point prior to May 2015, Johnson and Zornes began selling heroin supplied by sources in Detroit. Johnson sold to mid-level dealers and users in Boone County, and occasionally traded drugs for firearms. In July 2015, members of the U.S. Route 119 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force began making purchases of heroin from local dealers being supplied by Johnson. On March 22, 2016, Zornes was stopped in Jackson County while transporting heroin from Michigan. Two days later, in an effort to obtain bond money for Zornes, Johnson recruited Gregory Runion to sell an SKS assault rifle. Runion sold the rifle to an informant working for the Task Force.
On August 1 and 2, 2016, Task Force officers used an informant to buy heroin directly from Johnson and Zornes at their residence. Officers executed search warrants at the residence and seized more than 40 grams of heroin, ecstasy tablets, cash, and distribution paraphernalia. Both Johnson and Zornes were arrested and remain in custody.
This long-term investigation of heroin trafficking in Boone County has led to several convictions and prison sentences. Christopher Priestly, of Bloomingrose, was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison for distribution of heroin. Robert Donavan Buzzard, of Bloomingrose, was sentenced to a year and nine months in federal prison for distribution of heroin. Gregory Scott Runion, of Seth, was sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Joyce Ann Zornes, of Seth, previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin and faces up to 20 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on April 27, 2017. Darrell Woodside, of Detroit, previously pleaded guilty to using a telephone to facilitate heroin trafficking and faces up to four years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 22, 2017.
The U.S. Route 119 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the West Virginia State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecution. United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin imposed the sentence and is presiding over these cases.
These cases are 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.
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