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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Three Men Plead Guilty to Federal Drug and Gun Crimes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced that three men, two from Detroit, Michigan, and one from Huntington, entered guilty pleas today in federal court in Huntington:

Rudolph Donnell Willis, 45, from Detroit, Michigan entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute heroin.  Between March and June of 2015, Willis received heroin which he delivered on multiple occasions to a residence located at 1751 Buffington Avenue in Huntington.  Willis provided the heroin to the occupants of the residence and the occupants would in turn distribute the heroin to various customers.  Willis later collected money from the heroin sales at the residence.  Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the residence on June 29, 2015.  Just prior to execution of the warrant, officers observed Willis enter the residence.  During the search, Willis and other individuals in the residence were arrested and officers seized heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine. 

Willis faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 24, 2019. 

The FBI Drug Task Force and the Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecution.  United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the plea hearing.

Ellis Simmons, Jr., 49, from Detroit, Michigan, entered guilty pleas to possession with intent to distribute heroin and prohibited possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in federal court in Huntington.  On September 14, 2015, members of the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 2317 Lincoln Avenue in Huntington. When investigators executed the warrant, they located Simmons and two additional individuals inside the residence. Investigators subsequently seized approximately 25 grams of heroin during the search.  Investigators also seized a .22 caliber pistol from a room where Simmons was located.  Simmons was previously convicted of multiple felony offenses and admitted to possessing the gun.  Simmons also admitted that during the month of September 2015, he and others used the residence to distribute heroin.  

Simmons faces up to 30 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on July 8, 2019.

The FBI Drug Task Force and the Huntington Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecution.  United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the plea hearing.

“The Detroit Express is very much alive,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “We are working overtime to intercept and prosecute the Detroit drug demons that poison our streets and our kids. Since I became United States Attorney, scores and scores of Detroit thugs have been arrested and prosecuted in the Southern District of West Virginia.  Even the Detroit poison peddlers should be able to figure it out – come to my district and we will see if we can arrange for you to spend a very long time behind bars.” 

Carl Dillow III, 29, of Huntington, entered a guilty plea to an indictment charging him with distribution of fentanyl. Dillow admitted that on May 22, 2017, he met a confidential informant at the Adams Landing apartments in Huntington and gave the informant fentanyl in exchange for $70.  

“Fentanyl is killing too many West Virginians,” said Stuart.  “Fentanyl is the leading cause of overdose for our citizens.  Anyone caught distributing fentanyl will be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law. 

Dillow faces up to twenty years in federal prison when he is sentenced on July 8, 2019.

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

These cases are being prosecuted as part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.), a focused enforcement effort that seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas. 

 

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Updated March 19, 2019