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Press Release

Operation Free Market Update: Two Men Sentenced to Prison

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two Huntington men were sentenced to federal prison today as part of Operation Free Market, a long-term drug investigation in Huntington, according to United States Attorney Mike Stuart.

“Operation Free Market took out a significant fentanyl and heroin drug trafficking organization operating between Detroit and Huntington,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Our work is paying off. As we take more and more purveyors of these poisons off the streets, we are seeing reductions in opioid-related overdose deaths.”

George Lockhart, 44, was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in a federal drug conspiracy and a gun crime. He previously pled guilty to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Lockhart previously 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. 

Bryant Holloway, 41, was sentenced to five years in prison for selling fentanyl. He pled guilty on April 24, 2019 to selling 95 grams of fentanyl to a confidential informant for $10,000.  The investigation was a joint effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West.  

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentences. Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor handled the prosecutions.

Operation Free Market was a long-term drug investigation in the Huntington area. It was part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS), a Department of Justice program that seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas and to identify wholesale distribution networks and international and domestic suppliers.


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Updated June 3, 2020

Drug Trafficking