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Press Release

Two more defendants sentenced for roles in Detroit to Huntington heroin conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two men who participated in a heroin conspiracy between 2012 and 2014 were sentenced today in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia, announced United States Attorney Booth Goodwin. Kenneth E. Baxter, 25, of Detroit, was sentenced to seven years and three months in federal prison after previously pleading guilty to distributing heroin. Coty S. Richardson, 24, of South Point, Ohio, was sentenced to five years and ten months in federal prison after previously pleading guilty to attempting to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.  

From November 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 drug deals, and sold heroin to confidential informants on four separate occasions between April and December of 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 to 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. Upon entering the residence, agents observed Richardson 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 defendants have been convicted of federal drug charges due to this investigation, including Paul A. Roberts, who pleaded guilty to maintaining a residence for the distribution of heroin in March 2015, Dustin S. Barton, who pleaded guilty to distributing heroin in August 2015, and Sean L. Gist, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin in September 2015. This investigation has also resulted in prison sentences for additional defendants for their roles in this conspiracy, including Ramone L. Wells, who was sentenced to four years in federal prison, and Pricilla Lee Dylan, who was sentenced to two years and nine months in federal prison.

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 handled the prosecution.

This case was 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 November 30, 2015

Drug Trafficking