HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two men who participated in a heroin conspiracy between 2012 and 2014 pleaded guilty today to federal drug charges, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. Kenneth E. Baxter, 25, of Detroit entered a guilty plea to distributing heroin. Coty S. Richardson, 24, of South Point, entered a guilty plea to attempting to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Both hearings were held in federal court in Huntington before Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
From at least November of 2012 to December 8, 2014, Baxter led a conspiracy that involved the transportation of heroin from Detroit to Huntington for distribution. Once in Huntington, Baxter provided heroin to others, including Richardson, for distribution from multiple residences in the Huntington area. Baxter was also personally engaged in the distribution and sold heroin to confidential informants on four separate occasions between April and December 2014.
One of the residences secured by the group was at 403 Homestead Place in Huntington. Richardson arranged for the lease of the residence and the residence was used to prepare and distribute heroin. On December 6, 2014, a postal inspector with the United States Postal Inspection Service intercepted a package addressed for the residence containing approximately 230 grams of heroin. Agents delivered the package that day and executed a search warrant at the residence after the package was accepted. When agents entered the residence, Richardson was observed throwing the package from a second floor window. When Richardson was arrested, agents seized heroin, paraphernalia used to package and distribute heroin, and firearms from the residence.
Multiple others have been convicted for their respective roles in the conspiracy including Paul A. Roberts, who pleaded guilty to maintaining a residence for the distribution of heroin in March 2015, Ramone L. Wells, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin in June 2015, Pricilla Lee Dylan, who pleaded guilty to maintaining a residence for the distribution of heroin in August 2015, and Dustin S. Barton, who pleaded guilty to distributing heroin in August 2015.
Baxter faces up to 20 years in federal prison, and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 30, 2015. Richardson faces up to 40 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on November 30, 2015.
The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force, United States Postal Service, West Virginia State Police and Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is in charge of the prosecution.
This 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.