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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Two Members Of Newman Drug Gang Plead Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

Seven Gang Members, Including Kenneth Newman, Have Already Entered Guilty Pleas

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that two defendants pled guilty today in federal court in Huntington to charges stemming from their roles in the Kenneth Newman drug conspiracy.  Marshall Lee Graves II, also known as “Bro Marsh,” age 30, of Huntington, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  On January 20, 2014, a search was conducted at Graves’ Collis Avenue residence during which agents found 53.9 grams of cocaine powder, 34.5 grams of cocaine base, also known as “crack,” a loaded SKS rifle and $1,100 in cash.

Curtis Rollins, age 34, of Huntington also pled guilty to using a cell phone to facilitate drug trafficking.  On December 31, 2013,  Rollins made a phone call to Kenneth Newman to arrange the purchase of cocaine.  During the call, Rollins told Newman that he had two people who needed something and they were “about to come through.”   This call was part of a series of calls on the afternoon and early evening of the same day in which Rollins requested “2 extra things,” specifically powder cocaine, at least part of which he intended to provide to others.

Graves faces a sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.  Rollins both face a sentence of up to 4 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  Both will be sentenced by Chief Judge Robert C. Chambers on February 9, 2015.

Six additional defendants previously pled guilty to charges stemming from their involvement with Kenneth Newman, including Tonda Click, Brandon Appleton, Ariell Varney, Kamel Burris, William Petties, and George Newman, Kenneth Newman’s brother.  Burris and Petties have both been sentenced to 60 and 46 months imprisonment, respectively.  The remaining four await sentencing.  Kenneth Newman also entered into a plea agreement and pled guilty possession with intent to distribute various controlled substances.  Newman’s plea agreement was set aside because he failed to cooperate as required by the agreement. Because the plea agreement was set aside, Newman still faces twenty additional drug and gun charges.

Marcus Graves, the brother of Marshall Graves is scheduled to plead guilty tomorrow in federal court in Huntington. 

The investigation was conducted by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Huntington Police Department, Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The case is 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 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 January 7, 2015