Final Two Defendants Sentenced to Prison for Roles in Multi-State Drug Ring
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Concluding a case that secured convictions against all 19 defendants, an Ohio man and a Huntington woman were sentenced to prison for their roles in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that distributed large amounts of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and other illegal drugs in the Huntington area.
Brayan Luces, 25, of Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and five kilograms or more of cocaine.
Kimberly Ann Combs, 45, of Huntington, was sentenced to six months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from May to July 2021, Luces regularly shipped a minimum of 1 kilogram of fentanyl and 1 kilogram of cocaine to Huntington. The fentanyl and cocaine were transported by vehicle and provided to an individual on consignment. After the drugs were sold in the Huntington area, Luces would receive the drug proceeds, which were transported by vehicle to Columbus.
On July 22, 2021, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Luces’ residence in Columbus and seized 13 kilograms of fentanyl, 2 kilograms of methamphetamine, approximately $26,484 in cash, two firearms, and various magazines and ammunition.
Combs admitted that she bought 104 30-milligram oxycodone pills from co-defendant William Raeshaun Byrd at his Huntington residence on July 23, 2021. When Combs left Byrd’s residence, law enforcement officers stopped her vehicle and recovered the oxycodone pills. Combs further admitted that she received oxycodone pills from Byrd on at least 10 other occasions in June and July 2021, and provided some of those pills to another individual.
This successful prosecution disrupted a conspiracy that distributed a variety of drugs including fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, cocaine base (also known as “crack”), oxycodone, and heroin. Law enforcement officers seized more than 47 pounds of fentanyl, 6.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 4.5 pounds of cocaine and 2 pounds of heroin as well as 14 firearms and more than $335,000 in cash.
“Tremendous dedication and teamwork removed massive volumes of deadly drugs from one of our most vulnerable and hard-pressed communities,” said United States Attorney Will Thompson. “It is critical that we target the supply side as we reduce overdose deaths and obstacles to recovery, and this is a prime example of an effective prosecution toward that end.”
"This investigation demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement at all levels to investigate and prosecute those who pollute local neighborhoods with dangerous drugs,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “This investigation effectively dismantled a multi-state drug trafficking organization that chose to set up operations in the Huntington area. The FBI will continue to work with our partners to rid the streets of these criminals and make our communities safer for all citizens.”
The other defendants were sentenced to the following prison terms after pleading guilty to various felony offenses:
- William Raeshaun Byrd, 32, of Huntington, to 15 years for conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 5 kilograms or more of cocaine;
- Marvin Jerome Calvin, 41, of Huntington, to six years and six months for distribution of fentanyl;
- Mark Anthony Chandler, 31, of Huntington, to four years and four months for possession with intent to distribute cocaine;
- Donald Duane Cole, 52, of Huntington, to five years and 10 months possession with intent to distribute cocaine base;
- Robert Lamont Congleton, 42, of Huntington, to six months for being a felon in possession of a firearm;
- Reginald Jerome Hairston, 45, of Huntington, to four years and four months for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine;
- Marcus Allen Johnson, 37, of Huntington, to two years using a communication facility to facilitate a felony drug offense;
- Erica Antoinette Kirker, 35, of Huntington, to seven years and six months for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and 40 grams or more of fentanyl;
- Aaron Scott Midkiff, 27, of Huntington, to six years and five months for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine;
- Edward Shane Midkiff, 35, of Huntington, to three years and one month for distribution of methamphetamine;
- Scott Lee Midkiff, 36, of Huntington, to 17 years for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl;
- William Edward Nellons Jr., 38, of Huntington, to three years and 10 months for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and fentanyl;
- Leonard Brandon Joe Rice, 36, of Louisa, Kentucky, to two years for using a communication facility to facilitate a felony drug offense;
- Dennis Wayne Snyder, 32, of Hurricane, to seven years for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams of more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine;
- Ricky Lee Taylor, 58, of Charleston, to two years for using a telephone to facilitate a felony controlled substance offense;
- Christopher Leon Vest, 34, of Huntington, to 12 years and six months for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine;
- Dillon Andrew Young, 29, of Sissonville, to two years and six months for use of a communications facility in committing, causing, and facilitating a felony controlled substance offense.
Thompson commended the investigative work of the FBI and the Southern West Virginia TOC-West Task Force. The Southern West Virginia TOC-West Task Force consists of officers with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Hurricane Police Department, and the Marshall University Police Department, with support from the West Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West. The Ohio Highway Patrol, the Kentucky State Police, and the FBI and DEA in Columbus, Ohio also assisted in the investigation.
“I also commend Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph F. Adams and Courtney L. Cremeans for their tenacious prosecution of this case that ensured guilty pleas from each and every defendant,” Thompson said.
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentences.
This prosecution was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:21-cr-109 and 3:22-cr-7.