Huntington man sentenced to federal prison for heroin crime
Investigators utilized drug dog and undercover officer to seize heroin and catch defendant red-handed
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man who received a shipment of heroin in the mail in December 2016 was sentenced today to two and a half years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. David Lee Zirkle, 37, previously pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute heroin. U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the United States Postal Inspection Service and the West Virginia State Police Violent Crime and Drug Task Force.
On December 9, 2016, officers were notified that a package suspected of containing controlled substances was scheduled for delivery to a residence on Collis Avenue in Huntington. A West Virginia State Police K-9 officer gave a positive indication that the package contained drugs. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant and discovered approximately 30 grams of heroin. Investigators then removed the heroin, replaced it with another substance, and conducted a delivery of the package utilizing an undercover postal inspector. Zirkle accepted delivery and took possession of the package at the Collis Avenue residence. Law enforcement executed a search warrant at that residence, and upon entry, officers located Zirkle with contents of the package in his hand. Officers also seized digital scales and cash from the residence.
Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor handled the prosecution. United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence.
This case was 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 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 pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.