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Press Release

Project Huntington Update: Ninth Operation Saigon Sunset Defendant Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Conspiracy

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced that another defendant indicted for his role in a major, multi-state heroin and fentanyl distribution network pled guilty today to a federal drug conspiracy charge.  Lonnie Berry II, 43, of Huntington, entered his guilty plea to the indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin.  To date, 9 of the 15 defendants that were charged in the federal indictment in connection with the Peterson drug trafficking organization have entered guilty pleas.  Stuart commended the joint investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West. 

“Huntington has paid too high a price due to the chaos and despair wrought by out of state drug dealers,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Another guilty plea by a defendant in the Peterson DTO that was taken down in Operation Saigon Sunset.  We arrested them.  We detained them behind bars pending trial.  And now they are staying behind bars and off our streets. It is easy to believe there is a revolving door – arrest them today and they are on the streets tomorrow – but that is simply not true in federal cases. We are working hard with our local, state and federal partners to ensure a safer and more vibrant City of Huntington.”

Berry admitted that between October 2017 and April 2018 he conspired with Willie Peterson, also known as “Chill,” and Manget Peterson, also known as “Money,” to distribute heroin in Huntington.  Berry admitted that he sold heroin for Manget Peterson on a daily basis in Huntington.  Berry faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on December 10, 2018.

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 August 27, 2018

Drug Trafficking