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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Monday, September 12, 2016

Huntington man and woman plead guilty for roles in drug ring

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man and woman who participated in a multistate drug ring pleaded guilty today to federal crimes, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Parker Wyatt Mays, 27, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Tanisha Lynette Wooding, 37, entered her guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute crack. 

Mays admitted that from the summer of 2014 to May 2016, he conspired with others to distribute marijuana in the Huntington area. Mays and others regularly acquired large quantities of marijuana from a source in California. The marijuana was transported to Huntington using vehicles and through the mail. Once in Huntington, Mays and others distributed the marijuana to customers and pooled the proceeds to acquire additional marijuana. Mays admitted that the group distributed up to 400 kilograms of marijuana during the conspiracy.

Wooding admitted that she was in possession of crack on May 18, 2016, when agents executed a search warrant at her residence located on the 1800 block of 9th Avenue in Huntington. During the search, Wooding told agents that she had approximately two ounces of crack stored in the residence and then provided the drugs to the agents. Wooding further admitted to conspiring with others to distribute crack in Huntington for approximately one year. During this period, Wooding was regularly provided crack from a source. After Wooding sold the crack, she returned the proceeds to the source and received additional quantities of crack. Wooding also admitted that she was responsible for the distribution of at least 840 grams of crack during the conspiracy.

Wooding faces up to 20 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on January 3, 2017. Mays faces up to 5 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on January 3, 2017.

These prosecutions arose out of a long-term investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the West Virginia State Police, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, the Huntington Police Department, the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force, the Ohio Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Postal Inspection Service, which resulted in charging 12 defendants for offenses related to the distribution of heroin, crack, marijuana and alprazolam in Huntington. 

Two defendants have previously pleaded guilty for their roles in this drug ring. Matthew Michael Meadows and Arthur James Canada pleaded guilty to federal drug charges and are scheduled to be sentenced on September 26, 2016. All of the other defendants charged in the prosecution of this drug ring are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is in charge of the prosecutions. The plea hearings were held before Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers. 

These cases are being 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 illegal drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District. 

Drug Trafficking
Updated September 12, 2016