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Press Release

Rand Man Pleads Guilty In Major Federal Investigation Of Huntington Drug Trafficking

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

Huntington, W.Va. – Brandon Appleton, 25, of Rand, West Virginia, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Huntington to possessing cocaine and the drug MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy, with the intent to distribute them, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced.  On January 20, 2014, investigators working with the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted a search at 1814 Artisan Avenue in Huntington, which was the residence of Kenneth Dewitt Newman, also known as “K-Kutta.” At the time of the search, Appleton was in the residence. Appleton was in possession of a sandwich-style bag that contained smaller bags of both MDMA and cocaine, which Appleton intended to sell.  

The investigation into Newman’s drug trafficking revealed that Appleton distributed drugs for Newman from approximately December 2013 until the January search.  Additional amounts of cocaine and MDMA, as well as heroin, marijuana, and prescription pills, were seized in the residence. As a result of the investigation, Newman and 14 other individuals were charged with various offenses related to a drug trafficking conspiracy in the Huntington area.

Appleton faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and up to a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on August 18, 2014.  Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers is presiding over the case. 

This case is being 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.  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 in communities across the Southern District. 

Updated January 7, 2015