Man sentenced in Detroit-to-Huntington heroin conspiracy

HUNTINGTON — A Detroit man who participated in a heroin conspiracy in 2013 was sentenced today to five years of probation, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. Warren G. Howard, Jr., 25, previously pleaded guilty in December 2015 to distributing heroin.

During 2013, Howard conspired with others, including Kenneth E. Baxter, to distribute heroin which had been transported from Detroit to the Huntington area. On May 20, 2013, a confidential informant contacted Baxter to arrange the purchase of heroin. Howard and Baxter met the informant in the parking lot of a grocery store located at 1st Street and 7th Avenue in Huntington. The drug deal took place in Howard’s vehicle.

Multiple defendants have been convicted of drug offenses as a result of the investigation. Those sentenced to federal prison include Baxter, who was sentenced to seven years and three months; Coty S. Richardson, who was sentenced to five years and ten months; Sean L. Gist, who was sentenced to five years and three months; Ramone L. Wells, who was sentenced to four years; Pricilla Lee Dylan, who was sentenced to two years and nine months; and Dustin S. Barton, who was sentenced to a year and a day. Paul A. Roberts, Jr., was sentenced to five years of probation for assisting the group in securing a residence to conduct drug deals.

The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force, United States Postal Service, West Virginia State Police and Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation of these cases. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams handled the prosecutions. Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentences.

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.

Submitted by United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.