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Justice News

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

Two defendants sentenced to federal prison for drug crimes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two defendants were sentenced today to federal prison for drug crimes, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Miana Miller, 20, of Huntington, was sentenced to two years in prison for distribution of heroin. In a separate prosecution, Ashara Mayes, 29, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced to seven months in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Miller admitted that on September 15, 2015, she sold heroin to a confidential informant working with the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force. The drug deal took place at the corner of 9th Street West and Monroe Avenue in Huntington. Miller also admitted that she was involved in two additional sales of heroin to the same confidential informant on September 24 and October 21, 2015. On May 15, 2015, law enforcement conducted a search of Miller’s residence on 9th Avenue in Huntington and found approximately 83 grams of crack in the pocket of a coat in Miller’s bedroom. Law enforcement also discovered a loaded firearm in another bedroom of the home. Furthermore, Miller admitted that from October 3, 2015, to February 19, 2016, she leased a residence located at 1438 Lynn Street in Huntington in her name for another individual. Miller admitted that she did not live at that location and that the residence was unoccupied. Miller additionally admitted that the residence was used as a “stash house” to store drugs. In a search of that location on February 19, 2016, law enforcement seized 98 grams of crack and 11 grams of heroin.

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 determined that the package contained over 160 grams of cocaine and over 11 grams of crack. For his part in the drug conspiracy, Johnson was sentenced to five years in federal prison. Bethel remains a fugitive.

The Huntington Police Department and the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force conducted the investigation of Miller. The investigation of Mayes and her codefendants 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 imposed the sentences.

These prosecutions 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 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.

Drug Trafficking
Updated May 22, 2017