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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Two defendants plead guilty for roles in Boone County heroin conspiracy

Detroit man and Boone County woman each face up to 20 years in federal prison for drug crimes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Detroit man and a Boone County woman pleaded guilty today to federal drug crimes, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Daymeon Damar Johnson, 31, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute heroin. Joyce Ann Zornes, 33, of Seth, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin.

Johnson and Zornes admitted that they both took part in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in Boone County. Johnson admitted that from 2013 to August 2016, he ordered heroin from his supplier, arranged to get the drugs to Boone County, and distributed the heroin to drug users and other drug dealers. Zornes admitted that from May 2015 to August 2016, she transported heroin from Detroit to Boone County for distribution. Zornes additionally admitted that she used her residence in Seth to distribute heroin.

Johnson also admitted that he traded drugs for guns. One such gun was a KBI, Inc. SKS-45, 7.62 x 39 caliber semiautomatic rifle, which Johnson agreed to sell on March 25, 2016, in order to raise bail money for Zornes, who had been arrested in Jackson County. Johnson gave the gun to an individual who sold the firearm to an informant working with the U.S. 119 Task Force.

Johnson and Zornes further admitted that on August 1, 2016, they worked together to sell heroin to an informant working with the U.S. 119 Task Force. Zornes admitted that the drug deal took place at her residence, and that she took the informant’s money while Johnson distributed the heroin. On August 3, 2016, the U.S. 119 Task Force executed a search warrant at Zornes’ residence. Johnson and Zornes were both present when agents seized heroin, prescription drugs, cash, scales, and ammunition. On August 9, 2016, the U.S. 119 Task Force executed another search warrant at Zornes’ residence based on information from a phone call Zornes had placed from South Central Regional Jail. Agents recovered additional heroin, prescription drugs, and cash that included $90.00 in prerecorded buy money from the August 2, 2016, controlled purchase of heroin.

Johnson and Zornes each face up to 20 years in federal prison. Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 4, 2017. Zornes is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2017.

The U.S. 119 Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua C. Hanks is in charge of these prosecutions. The plea hearings were held before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

These cases are 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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Updated January 5, 2017