Four Sentenced to Federal Prison on Gun, Drug Charges

Traffickers, Guns Off the Streets of Huntington, Charleston

HUNTINGTON AND CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Three people were sentenced to prison today in Huntington and one in Charleston on charges ranging from selling crack to illegal possession of a firearm.

Huntington Crack Dealer Sentenced to More Than Eleven Years

Darrell S. Reed, 26, of Detroit, was sentenced to 133 months in prison today by U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers for possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (commonly known as crack). On or about May 14, 2010, officers with the Huntington Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force executed a search warrant at Reed’s Huntington residence where law enforcement seized 44 grams of cocaine base from the defendant. Reed admitted to distributing crack over a seven-month period and stipulated that he possessed the crack for distribution.

This case is being brought as part of Weed & Seed. In 1991, the Department of Justice established Weed & Seed which is administered by the Community Capacity Development Office (CCDO). Weed & Seed utilizes a community-based, multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention and neighborhood restoration to better control violent crime, drug trafficking and drug-related crime in designated high-crime neighborhoods and to provide a safe environment for residents. The Fairfield area in the City of Huntington is a Weed & Seed Community (WSC).

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Special Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Adams handled the prosecution.

Charleston Crack Dealer Sentenced to More Than Eight Years

In a Charleston federal court today, Jerry Dismukes, 39, of Charleston was sentenced to 105 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston for distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base. On September 4, 2009, Dismukes sold 11.4 grams of cocaine base to a confidential informant at a residence in Kanawha County in exchange for $550. Following the controlled buy, Dismukes was arrested and officers recovered the $550 in prerecorded buy money from the defendant’s pants pocket. A subsequent search Dismukes’ vehicle revealed a loaded .40 caliber firearm. While in custody, police found another 11.5 grams of cocaine base which Dismukes admitted to possessing with the intent to distribute. Based on evidence resented at sentencing regarding other drug trafficking activity, the court found the defendant responsible for distributing approximately 220 grams of cocaine base as well as the possession of a firearm.

Huntington Woman Sentenced to Nearly Six Years for Role in Crack Trafficking

In an unrelated case, Terri Lynette Burns, 43, of Huntington was sentenced today to 71 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers for aiding and abetting the distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base. Burns admitted that for the past several years, she participated in drug trafficking activities in and around the Huntington area. In addition to distributing quantities of cocaine base and other controlled substances, Burns aided a drug trafficking organization with ties to Detroit. Burns’ involvement included providing housing for drug-buying customers, participating in trips to and from Detroit to transport controlled substances and posting bond for members of the drug trafficking organization. On May 6, 2009, Burns acted as a broker in a transaction between drug traffickers and a confidential informant. As stipulated in her plea agreement, Burns admitted to selling between 35 and 50 grams of cocaine base.

The conviction stemmed from an investigation by the Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force.

Huntington Man Sentenced to Nearly Three Years in Illegal Gun Case

In an unrelated case, Christopher Leon Vest, 22, of Huntington was sentenced to 33 months in prison today by U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers for being a felon in possession of a firearm. On June 2, 2010, members of the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force responded to a complaint at a local residence. Vest, who was at the scene, matched a description that was provided to responding officers. The landlord of the property gave consent for the officers to search the common area of the building, including the stairwell. A subsequent search of the property by drug dogs indicated the presence of drugs at the door of Vest’s apartment. Agents followed up with a search warrant obtained in Cabell County Magistrate Court and searched the defendant’s apartment in which they found an Intratech .45 caliber handgun in Vest’s bedroom. In a statement, Vest admitted that the gun found in his bedroom was being kept for someone. Vest was convicted on or about December 5, 2007, in the Circuit Court of Cabell County of manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance, a felony offense.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia established “Hard Time for Gun Crime,” which is a community-based initiative in conjunction with Project Safe Neighborhoods to reduce and prevent gun violence throughout southern West Virginia. “Hard Time for Gun Crime” is a partnership that includes the cooperation of neighborhood associations, social service and law enforcement agencies.

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