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Press Release

Multiple defendants appear on Federal charges in Huntington

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Multiple defendants appeared today in federal court in Huntington, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto.

Andre Robert Womble, II, 26, of Huntington, was sentenced to three years and one month in federal prison for a heroin crime. He previously pleaded guilty in November 2015 to possession with intent to distribute heroin. On December 11, 2014, officers with the Huntington Police Department responded to a complaint on the 300 block of Marcum Terrace in Huntington. An officer observed Womble and noted that he matched the description of the suspect in the complaint. When the officer attempted to approach, Womble began running from the police. The officer chased Womble and observed him throw a cigarette box on the roof of the Olive Street Market. The cigarette box was found by law enforcement to contain approximately 53 grams of heroin. Officers caught and arrested Womble, at which point they found an additional 20 bags of heroin in his pocket. Womble admitted that he intended to distribute all of the heroin.

In a separate prosecution of a federal gun crime, Shane Patrick Masters, 45, of Huntington, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a crime of domestic violence. On July 2, 2015, Masters traveled to the 26th Street Drinkery, a bar in Huntington. Masters had a handgun in his vehicle when he arrived at the bar where he met and had drinks with two other individuals. Later on in the early morning hours, those two individuals came into possession of the gun and provided it to officers with the Huntington Police Department. Masters was prohibited from possessing any firearm under federal law because of a 2015 domestic battery conviction in Wayne County Circuit Court. Masters faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 6, 2016.

In a separate drug prosecution, Michael Muncy, 36, and his mother, Naomi Messer, 55, both of Crum in Wayne County, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute oxycodone. Following several controlled purchases of oxycodone from their residence in Crum, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the house on February 21, 2012. Law enforcement seized oxycodone pills and cash, including pre-recorded buy money from a prior controlled purchase of oxycodone. Muncy and Messer each face up to 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine when they are sentenced on June 13, 2016.

The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force and Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation of Womble. The Huntington Police Department with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation of Masters. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecutions of Womble and Masters. The West Virginia State Police and the Route 119 Task Force conducted the investigation of Muncy and Messer. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is in charge of the prosecutions of Muncy and Messer.

The hearings were held before Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

The federal firearms charge was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by working with existing local programs that target gun crime. The federal drug prosecutions were brought 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.

Updated March 7, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods