Two Men Appear in Federal Court for Roles in Methamphetamine Conspiracy
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two men who took part in a conspiracy resulting in the distribution of large quantities of methamphetamine across several counties in West Virginia appeared in federal court yesterday, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Marquis Edward Henderson, 32, of Bronx, New York entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and prohibited possession of firearms by convicted felon. Rigoberto Fernandez, Jr., 29, of Scottsdale, Arizona was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. United States Attorney Stuart commended the work of the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
“This investigation shut down another dangerous, multi-state drug trafficking network that was bringing a significant amount of meth into our communities,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Our law enforcement partners are working tirelessly with my team of prosecutors to dismantle drug trafficking organizations peddling their poisons in West Virginia.”
From at least February of 2016 to June of 2017, Henderson and others obtained quantities of methamphetamine and heroin from California which were mailed to the Huntington and Cross Lanes areas. Henderson and others would then distribute the drugs to customers in Cabell, Putnam, and Kanawha counties. Henderson admitted that during the conspiracy, he and others utilized a residence and a storage unit in Cross Lanes to store, prepare and distribute drugs. Henderson also employed others to distribute drugs by providing large quantities of drugs on credit and receiving payment for the drugs after they were sold.
On March 10, 2017, Fernandez assisted Henderson by shipping methamphetamine from California to West Virginia after Henderson arranged to distribute the methamphetamine to a confidential informant in Huntington. The informant was instructed by Henderson to transfer payment for the drugs to Fernandez in California. The informant also provided Fernandez an address where the drugs were to be shipped. After receiving the payment, Fernandez mailed the drugs from the United States Post Office in Carson, California to the address provided by the informant. Agents seized the package on March 13, 2017, and it was found to contain over 440 grams of methamphetamine. A forensic chemist later analyzed the methamphetamine and found it to be 98% pure.
On June 1, 2017, agents executed search warrants at the residence and storage unit in Cross Lanes. During the search, agents seized multiple firearms, ammunition, and over 3 kilograms of methamphetamine that was found to be 98% pure after testing by a forensic chemist. Henderson admitted he was previously convicted of a felony offense and thus, was prohibited from possessing firearms. As part of his plea, Henderson also admitted that he was responsible for the distribution of up to 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine during the conspiracy.
Henderson faces a mandatory minimum 10 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on March 18, 2019.
Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is responsible for the prosecutions. The hearings were held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
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