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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Parkersburg man and woman sentenced to federal prison for heroin crimes

Law enforcement discovered heroin in vehicle concealed in tubes of grease

Charleston, W.Va. – A man and woman from Parkersburg who were caught transporting heroin were sentenced to prison this week after being convicted of federal drug crimes, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. David J. Kerns, 27, and Katie M. Kerns, 26 (no relation), previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin. Katie Kerns was sentenced yesterday to two years and five months in federal prison. David Kerns was sentenced today to two years and eight months in federal prison.

On February 19, 2015, members of the West Virginia State Police stopped the vehicle that David Kerns and Katie Kerns were driving in Parkersburg. Troopers observed them cross from Ohio into West Virginia over the U.S. Route 50 “Dupont Bridge” as they were bringing heroin from Cincinnati. Troopers searched the vehicle and recovered approximately 10 ounces of heroin concealed in tubes of grease. At the plea hearing, the defendants admitted that David Kerns purchased the heroin for $20,000 from a source Katie Kerns introduced him to in Cincinnati.

This case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks is handling the prosecution. United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston imposed the sentence.

This prosecution is 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 pills and heroin in communities across the Southern District.

Drug Trafficking
Updated January 19, 2017