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WV Partners With Feds To Fight Heroin Crisis

August 8th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

A federal grand jury has indicted a Wheeling Island man charging him with three counts of heroin trafficking in relation to a case prosecuted through a partnership between West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II.
 
The three-count indictment charges Justin Thomas Mann, 28, with distribution of heroin. He stands accused of having engaged in drug trafficking this year on Wheeling Island.
 
“This indictment demonstrates our commitment to eradicating drug abuse across northern West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Those who deal heroin must be dealt with accordingly.”
 
To date, the federal-state partnership has led to four convictions and three sentences since being announced in December 2015. This marks the partnership’s first indictment brought in Wheeling.
 
Mann faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million for each count, although any actual punishment will depend upon federal guidelines that measure the seriousness of the offense and any prior criminal history.
 
The partnership involves two lawyers from the Attorney General’s Office serving as special assistant U.S. attorneys. These attorneys handle drug cases in their federal capacity with a special emphasis prosecuting heroin trafficking organizations in northern West Virginia.
 
The partnership also builds upon existing substance abuse prevention and education initiatives targeting West Virginia youth.
 
West Virginia Chief Operating Officer and Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Martin is prosecuting the Mann case in his dual role as a special assistant U.S. attorney. It was investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.
 
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

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