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Justice News

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

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Huntington man sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for federal drug crime

Law enforcement recovered approximately 400 grams of heroin during investigation

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man who was caught with heroin was sentenced today to six years and eight months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. James Lennon Pace, 27, previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin.

On June 26, 2015, an officer with the Huntington Police Department observed Pace walking along the 1400 block of 10th Avenue in Huntington. Officers had been looking for Pace because he was a suspect in an unrelated crime. When approached by law enforcement, Pace gave the officer a false name and repeatedly placed his hands in his pockets. Officers detained Pace and discovered approximately 39 grams of heroin in Pace’s pocket. Pace admitted that he intended to distribute the heroin.

On September 22, 2015, agents with the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 1201 Charleston Avenue in Huntington after observing Pace leave the residence. During the search, agents seized over 360 grams of heroin, some of which was mixed with fentanyl – an opiate painkiller roughly 40 to 50 times more powerful than pure heroin. Agents also seized firearms, over $4,000 in cash, a press used to prepare heroin, and other drug paraphernalia. 

The Huntington Police Department and Huntington FBI Drug Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams handled the prosecution. The sentence was imposed by Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

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 illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.

Drug Trafficking
Updated September 6, 2016