Project Huntington Update: Two More Operation Saigon Sunset Defendants Plead Guilty

Updated 10 weeks ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Another two defendants indicted for their roles in a major, multi-state heroin and fentanyl distribution network pled guilty today to a federal drug conspiracy charge, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  To date, 11 of the 15 defendants charged in the indictment have entered guilty pleas.  The joint investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West.

“Huntington. Detroit. Jacksonville. Canton.  Far reaching and netting drug traffickers from across the east coast,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Operation Saigon Sunset closed down a major drug network.  Our message to drug thugs and traffickers? Huntington and West Virginia are CLOSED to hooligans. Stay away or be prepared to join the Peterson gang in a federal prison.” 

Willie Peterson, also known as “Chill,” 50, from Detroit, entered his guilty plea to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and a quantity of fentanyl.  Peterson admitted that between July 2017 and April 2018 he conspired with individuals to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and quantities of fentanyl in Huntington, West Virginia.  Peterson admitted that he distributed quantities of heroin to his brother, Manget Peterson, also known as “Money,” for him to distribute in Huntington in exchange for money.  Individuals in Huntington would send Peterson drug proceeds in Detroit, Michigan from drug sales in Huntington, West Virginia.  As part of his plea agreement, Peterson also admitted that in March 2018 he assisted David Miller, also known as “John,” in placing fentanyl and cocaine in a black box and attaching the box to Miller’s vehicle.  Miller intended to transport the controlled substances to Huntington for distribution purposes.  However, the Michigan State Police conducted a traffic stop on Miller and seized the controlled substances. 

Corey Beach, 30, from Jacksonville, Florida, entered his guilty plea to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin.  Beach admitted that between October 2017 and January 2018 he conspired with individuals to distribute heroin in Huntington, West Virginia.  As part of the plea agreement, Beach admitted that Luther Peterson, also known as “Mook,” told him to deliver heroin to an informant at the Burger King on Route 60 in Huntington, West Virginia. 

Willie Peterson faces between 5 years and up to 40 years in prison and Beach faces up to 20 years in prison when they are sentenced on December 10, 2018.

The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.  Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor is handling the prosecution.

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