Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Two Plead Guilty to Federal Drug Charges

 HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that two men pled guilty to federal drug charges before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

“Operation S.O.S. has been a huge success,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “We continue to hold opioid dealers accountable for the harm they inflicted on the Huntington community.”  

Matthew Thomas, also known as “Rico Dolla,” and “PJ,” 29, of Huntington, pled guilty to an indictment charging him with three counts of distributing heroin and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base. Thomas admitted that in May and June 2019 he sold heroin on three occasions to a confidential informant in Huntington.  Thomas also admitted that on June 19, 2019, officers with the Huntington Police Department searched his residence and found approximately 30 grams of heroin and 8 grams of cocaine base.  Officers also found a drug press.  Thomas admitted he intended to sell the heroin and cocaine base. Thomas faces up to twenty years in federal prison on each charge when he is sentenced on February 16, 2021. The Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation.   Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor is handling the prosecution.

Emmanuel Lee Whitfield, 25, of South Point, Ohio, pled guilty to one count of distribution of heroin.  On March 7, 2019, law enforcement utilized a confidential informant to arrange a controlled buy of 5 grams of heroin from Whitfield. The purchase occurred near 5 Washington Court in Huntington.  Whitfield faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on February 22, 2021. The Huntington Police Department and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Ryan A. Keefe is handling the prosecution.

These cases were prosecuted as part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.), an enforcement surge that seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 3:20-cr-00137 (Thomas) and 3:20-cr-00107 (Whitfield).

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