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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 13, 2017

Two defendants appear in federal court in Huntington for drug crimes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two defendants appeared in federal court today for drug crimes, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Gerald Harris, 23, of Huntington, was sentenced to eight months in federal prison for distribution of heroin. In a separate prosecution, Ashara Mayes, 29, of Decatur, Georgia, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

On March 22, 2016, Harris sold approximately 11.8 grams of heroin to a confidential informant working with the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. Harris met the confidential informant on Rear Monroe Avenue in Huntington to conduct the drug deal.

In a separate prosecution, on February 25, 2016, Mayes received a package containing cocaine and crack from codefendant Trevor Bethel in Atlanta. Mayes then transported the package to Huntington for Bethel in exchange for $500. After Mayes arrived in Huntington, she met Bethel and took the package to the residence of Jarrell Johnson, another codefendant, located on Rear 9th Avenue in Huntington. Laboratory analysis found that the package contained over 160 grams of cocaine and over 11 grams of crack. Mayes faces up to 20 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on May 22, 2017. For his part in the drug conspiracy, Johnson was sentenced to five years in federal prison. Bethel remains a fugitive.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force conducted the Harris investigation. The investigation of Mayes was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey is handling these prosecutions. Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearings.

These cases are 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 illegal drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 13, 2017