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Press Release

Huntington Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm and Heroin Charges

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man has pled guilty to drug and gun crimes, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Johnny Ray Francis III, 19, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

“Through Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge and other law enforcement actions, we have prosecuted a historic number of opioid dealers in and around Huntington,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “We won’t stop until the day the last drug dealer and poison peddler are out of town or in prison.”

Francis admitted that on June 12, 2019, in a residence at 1281 26th St. in Huntington, he possessed a plastic baggie containing suspected heroin and a Glock 23 .40 caliber/9mm pistol.  After forensic testing, the substance possessed by Francis was determined to be approximately eight grams of heroin. Francis admitted that he intended to distribute the heroin he possessed, and that he possessed the firearm for the purpose of protecting himself and the heroin he possessed.

Francis faces a minimum mandatory five years in prison with a maximum of 40 years when sentenced on September 28, 2020.

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan A. Keefe 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 June 29, 2020

Drug Trafficking