Skip to main content
Press Release

Two defendants plead guilty to federal drug crimes

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two defendants pleaded guilty today to federal drug crimes, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Jessica Ann Barnett, 29, of South Point, Ohio, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin. In a separate prosecution, Malik Muhammad Abdull Williams, 24, of Michigan, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and crack. 

Between November 2014 and June 8, 2016, Barnett participated with multiple individuals in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in the Huntington area. At various times during the conspiracy, Barnett was provided with cash that constituted proceeds from heroin sales. Barnett would then wire the money to a third party in Michigan via money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram. Barnett transferred proceeds from heroin distributions on at least 27 occasions totaling approximately $26,410. On multiple occasions, Barnett also sold small amounts of heroin. Barnett faces up to 20 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on August 28, 2017.

In a separate prosecution, on May 2, 2016, members of the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force were conducting surveillance at the Greyhound Bus Station in Ashland, Kentucky, after receiving information Williams would be arriving on a bus in possession of drugs. Agents observed Williams exit a bus and enter a vehicle that traveled to Huntington. Agents conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle at 1st Street and 4th Avenue in Huntington and discovered Williams in possession of approximately 31 grams of heroin and 41 grams of crack concealed in his pants. Williams admitted that he intended to sell the drugs in Huntington. Williams faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on August 28, 2017.

The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force conducted the investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling these prosecutions. The plea hearings were held before Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

These cases were brought 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 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 opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.

Updated May 22, 2017

Drug Trafficking