U.S. Attorney’s Office
December 14, 2015
Southern District of West Virginia
Two More Defendants Sentenced in Detroit to Huntington Heroin Conspiracy
HUNTINGTON, WV—Two men who participated in a heroin conspiracy between 2012 and 2015 were the latest defendants sentenced today in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia, announced United States Attorney Booth Goodwin. Sean L. Gist, 22, of Detroit, was sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Paul A. Roberts, Jr., 22, of Huntington, was sentenced to five years of probation after previously pleading guilty to maintaining a residence for the distribution of heroin.
From December of 2013 to January of 2015, Gist participated in a conspiracy, led by Kenneth E. Baxter, that transported heroin from Detroit to Huntington for distribution. Once the drugs reached Huntington, Gist provided heroin to multiple individuals for distribution. Gist also distributed heroin himself, arranged for the sale of heroin to a confidential informant on January 28, 2015, at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington, and admitted that he possessed a firearm in connection with the conspiracy.
Roberts helped to secure one of the residences used in the conspiracy located at 403 Homestead Place in Huntington. From October of 2014 to December of 2014, Roberts, Coty E. Richardson, and others used the residence to store, package, and distribute heroin. On December 6, 2014, a United States Postal Inspector intercepted a package containing approximately 230 grams of heroin addressed to the residence. After agents delivered the package, they executed a search warrant, located Roberts in the residence, and seized heroin, equipment used to package and distribute heroin, more than $6,500 in cash, and four guns.
Several defendants have been convicted of federal drug charges as a result of the investigation, including Dustin S. Barton, who pleaded guilty in August of 2015 to distributing heroin, and Warren G. Howard, Jr., who pleaded guilty on December 7, 2015, to distributing heroin. This investigation has also resulted in prison sentences for additional defendants for their roles in the conspiracy, including Kenneth Baxter, who was sentenced to seven years and three months, Coty Richardson, who was sentenced to five years and ten months, Ramone L. Wells, who was sentenced to four years, and Pricilla Lee Dylan, who was sentenced to two years and nine months.
The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force, United States Postal Service, West Virginia State Police and Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams handled the prosecution.
This case was prosecuted 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.