Long-term Boone County heroin trafficking investigation has led to several convictions and prison sentences

Updated 20 weeks ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Detroit man who was part of a heroin trafficking ring was sentenced today to two and a half years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Darrell Eugene Woodside, 46, previously pleaded guilty to communicating by phone to facilitate the distribution of heroin.

Woodside admitted that from October 2015 through March 2016, while in Detroit, he communicated by telephone with his nephew, Daymeon Damar Johnson, who was residing in Seth in Boone County. Woodside additionally admitted that the purpose of these communications was to help arrange the delivery of heroin from Michigan to West Virginia for distribution. He also admitted making travel arrangements for runners carrying heroin and cash between Michigan and West Virginia.

This case is part of a long-term investigation of heroin trafficking in Boone County conducted by the West Virginia State Police and the U.S. Route 119 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. The investigation has led to the convictions of several defendants. Daymeon Johnson, of Detroit, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin. Joyce Zornes, of Seth, was sentenced four years in federal prison for aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin. Christopher Priestly, of Bloomingrose, was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison for distribution of heroin. Robert Donavan Buzzard, of Bloomingrose, was sentenced to a year and nine months in federal prison for distribution of heroin. Gregory Scott Runion, of Seth, was sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The U.S. Route 119 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the West Virginia State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecution. United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin imposed the sentence and is presiding over these cases.

These cases are 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.

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