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Press Release

Michigan Man and Woman Plead Guilty to Federal Drug Crimes

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Darrell Lamar Holcomb, also known as “Smiley,” 31, of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, and Nicole Christian Ball, 44, of Jackson, Michigan, pleaded guilty today to aiding and abetting the distribution of 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and 400 grams or more of fentanyl. Holcomb also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and 400 grams or more of fentanyl,

According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning approximately in or before 2019, Holcomb began supplying controlled substances including methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and marijuana to an individual living in the Oak Hill area of West Virginia. Holcomb or a courier would transport the controlled substances to the individual from the Detroit, Michigan area approximately once or twice per month. Holcomb usually provided the controlled substances on consignment, accepting payment after the individual sold them. Holcomb also provided cell phones to the individual that he was to use only to communicate with Holcomb.

In early December 2021, Holcomb negotiated with the individual to sell him approximately 5 pounds of methamphetamine and 3 kilograms of fentanyl along with approximately 2 kilograms of a cutting agent to mix with the fentanyl and increase the sellable amount. The individual was required to pay Holcomb $60,000 from a prior shipment as part of this drug deal.

Ball admitted that she was the courier for this transaction, delivering what she now knows was methamphetamine, fentanyl and the cutting agent to the individual in the Pea Ridge Road area of Oak Hill on December 12, 2021. Ball further admitted to taking what she believed to be $60,000 packaged in vacuum-sealed plastic from the individual. Law enforcement officers stopped Ball’s vehicle following the transaction and seized the money.

Holcomb and Ball are scheduled to be sentenced on November 8, 2023, and each faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release, and a $10 million fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central West Virginia Task Force.

Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:22-cr-216. 



Updated August 1, 2023

Drug Trafficking