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Press Release

Huntington man pleads guilty to federal heroin conspiracy

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man involved with others in distributing heroin in 2016 pleaded guilty today to a federal drug charge, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Philip Reed Starkey, 48, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute heroin.

From the summer of 2016 to September of 2016, Starkey participated with Tonya Lynn Thompson and others in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in the Huntington area. During this time period, Starkey and Thompson received heroin on consignment. Starkey and Thompson would then distribute the drugs and return the proceeds back to the heroin source.  

On September 5, 2016, a deputy with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department seized $6,407 in cash from Starkey and Thompson during a traffic stop on U.S. Route 60 in Huntington after agents received information they would be delivering the money that day. Starkey and Thompson admitted that the money was proceeds from drug trafficking and that they were delivering the cash back to the heroin source. Starkey further admitted that he and Thompson were responsible for distributing up to 400 grams of heroin during the conspiracy.

Starkey faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on August 7, 2017. Thompson previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and faces up to 20 years in federal prison when she is sentenced, also on August 7, 2017.

The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force and the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

This prosecution is 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 May 1, 2017

Drug Trafficking