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Press Release

Two Pill Dealers Sentenced To Federal Prison For Oxycodone Distribution Conspiracy

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

Defendants brought thousands of pills from Detroit and distributed them in Huntington

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin today announced that two pill dealers were sentenced to a total of more than eleven years in federal prison for selling prescription painkillers.  Joseph Dre Moore, also known as “Tay,” 33, of Huntington, was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison.  Moore admitted that beginning in late summer 2009, he was involved in an illegal pill distribution scheme in and around Huntington, W.Va.  Moore admitted that during the scheme, he obtained pills from Detroit, Michigan or from individuals with ties to sources in Detroit.  Moore further admitted that on September 22, 2009, he directed a known individual to distribute nine 80-milligram oxycodone tablets to a confidential informant working for the Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force.  The transaction occurred near 14th Street and Adams Avenue in Huntington.   Moore also admitted that in December 2009, he began using a Huntington residence to store and distribute controlled substances including marijuana, crack cocaine, and oxycodone.  Moore admitted that he sold approximately 30 80-milligram oxycodone tablets per month for at least two months. 

In a separate hearing today, Moore’s co-defendant Rita Evette Johnson, 33, of Detroit, was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison.  Johnson admitted that she became involved in the illegal pill conspiracy during the spring of 2011.  Johnson admitted that she typically obtained pills from Detroit and shipped them to co-defendant Moore in Huntington.  Johnson further admitted that in the spring of 2011, she arranged for approximately 2,700 30-milligram oxycodone tablets to be sent to co-defendant Moore.  Johnson also admitted that she recruited an individual to carry 600 30-milligram oxycodone tablets and 90 40-milligram oxycodone tablets by commercial bus from Detroit to co-defendant Moore in Huntington.  Moore also admitted his participation in the pill drop-off scheme.   

The Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecutions.  The sentences were imposed by United States District Chief Judge Robert C. Chambers. 

The cases were 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.  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 in communities across the Southern District. 

Updated January 7, 2015