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Press Release

Operation Free Market Update: Huntington Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Conspiracy and Gun Crime

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man pled guilty to a federal drug conspiracy and a gun crime,  announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  George Lockhart, 44, pled guilty to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

“Lockhart was a felon conspiring with others to distribute deadly heroin and fentanyl in Huntington,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “This is yet another successful law enforcement operation that dismantled a drug trafficking network.”

Lockhart admitted that between December 2018 and May 2019 he conspired with other individuals to distribute heroin and fentanyl in Huntington, West Virginia.  Lockhart admitted other individuals sold drugs for him at his direction.  He also admitted to possessing a firearm during a search warrant in May 2019.  He was prohibited by federal law to possess a firearm because he had been convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter in January 2011. 

Lockhart faces up to thirty years in prison when he is sentenced on April 6, 2020.

Operation Free Market was a long-term drug investigation in the Huntington area.  The investigation was the result of a joint effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West.  

The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.  Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor handled the prosecution.


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Updated January 6, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses