HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Two men pleaded guilty this week to federal drug crimes, including one accused of conspiring to distribute heroin in Mason County, W.Va. with that case having ties to Gallia County, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto.
Earnest Moore, 40, of Ohio, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin. In a separate prosecution, Robert Douglas Black, 52, of Huntington, entered his guilty plea to distribution of heroin.
From early 2013 until his arrest on July 23, 2014, Moore admitted that he conspired with others to distribute heroin in the Point Pleasant area of Mason County. During the conspiracy, associates of Moore would frequently transport heroin from Detroit and Columbus to a residence in Gallipolis, where they would store and prepare the drugs for distribution. Members of the conspiracy would then distribute the heroin to customers in Gallipolis and to customers who traveled from Point Pleasant. Moore and others also frequently traveled to Point Pleasant where they used various residences to distribute the drugs. Moore faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 30, 2017.
In a separate prosecution, Black admitted that on May 4, 2016, he sold heroin to a confidential informant working with law enforcement. The drug deal took place at his residence on 5th Avenue West in Huntington. On May 25, 2016, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Black’s residence and seized over $2,000 in cash, a set of digital scales, and additional heroin that Black admitted he intended to distribute. Black faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 30, 2017.
The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, which includes the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and the Gallia-Meigs County, Ohio, Major Crimes Task Force, conducted the investigation of Moore. The investigation of Black was conducted by the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is in charge of these prosecutions. The plea hearings were held before Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
These cases were brought 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.
Information for this article released by the office of Carol A. Casto, United States District Attorney Southern District of West Virginia.