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Justice News

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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Huntington Men Sent To Federal Prison For Trafficking Detroit Heroin

Huntington, W.Va. –  Zachary Merritt and Keith Wood were sentenced to 11 years and six months and four years and two months imprisonment,  respectively, for their roles in a heroin distribution ring, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today.  Merritt and Wood had previously pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin in November of 2013.

Merritt admitted that between September of 2012 and June of 2013 he sent heroin from Detroit, Michigan to Huntington, West Virginia to be sold by others.  Drug dealers deposited money from the heroin sales in Merritt’s account at Chase Bank in Huntington.  Merritt withdrew the money from a Chase Bank branch in Detroit.  A total of $38,250 in deposits were identified as drug money.  Merritt also received at least $7,000 in drug money delivered by courier from Huntington to Detroit.

On November 18, 2012, Merritt also provided heroin to Lindsey Thacker, who, along with Wood and others, trafficked heroin from Detroit to Huntington.  Thacker and Wood provided housing to a drug dealer also engaged in the heroin trafficking.  In return, Thacker and Wood received heroin for personal use.

 In June of 2013, two homes in Detroit owned by Merritt were searched.   Agents located 2 packages of what was later determined to be a cutting agent for heroin, along with other items consistent with drug trafficking, and a loaded Glock handgun. 

This case is 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 prescription drugs.  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 in communities across the Southern District. 

Updated January 7, 2015