Skip to main content
Press Release

Ohio man sentenced to Federal prison for role in Detroit-to-Huntington heroin scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
Defendant is one of eight convicted as part of significant drug investigation

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A South Point, Ohio, man who participated in a heroin conspiracy in 2014 and 2015 was sentenced today in federal court, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. Dustin S. Barton, 19, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison after previously pleading guilty to distributing heroin. Barton was the seventh participant in the drug scheme to be sentenced.

From the summer of 2014 to January 2015, Barton participated in a conspiracy led by Kenneth E. Baxter that transported heroin from Detroit to Huntington for distribution. Once in Huntington, Barton assisted Sean L. Gist and Ramone L. Wells by transporting heroin to various locations and distributing heroin to customers when directed by Gist and Wells. On January 28, 2015, Barton met with a confidential informant at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington and distributed heroin to the informant on behalf of Gist.

Multiple defendants have been convicted of drug offenses as a result of the investigation. Those sentenced to federal prison include Baxter, who was sentenced to seven years and three months; Coty S. Richardson, who was sentenced to five years and ten months; Gist, who was sentenced to five years and three months; Wells, who was sentenced to four years; and Pricilla Lee Dylan, who was sentenced to two years and nine months. Paul A. Roberts, Jr., was sentenced to five years of probation for assisting the group in securing a residence to conduct drug deals. 

Also as part of this drug investigation, Warren G. Howard, Jr., pleaded guilty in December 2015 to distributing heroin. Howard faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on March 7, 2016.

The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force, the United States Postal Service, the West Virginia State Police, and the Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams handled the prosecution. Chief 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 illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.

Updated February 16, 2016

Drug Trafficking