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Last updated: April 28. 2014 12:27PM - 2222 Views
By - fpace@civitasmedia.com



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An Ashford man admitted that he conspired with others to distribute heroin in and around Boone County, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced last week.


James Harry Barker, 63, pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston to conspiracy to distribute heroin.


In June of 2013, the U.S. 119 Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Barker’s home and a bar he operated called “Firebug’s,” both located in Ashford.


Officers seized cash and evidence of drug distribution such as drug packing materials, according to Goodwin.


Goodwin stated that Barker admitted that he sold several hundred heroin “stamps” in the Boone County area from the summer of 2012 through the summer of 2013. He also admitted that the money seized from his home and business came from drug sales.


Barker faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on August 6, 2014.


This case is being 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, Goodwin added.


The U.S. 119 Drug Task Force conducted the investigation.


Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn is in charge of the prosecution.


* In other U.S. Federal Court news,


United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that Ronnie Dale Norman Sr., 67 and his son, Ronnie Dale Norman Jr., 23, both of Branchland, West Virginia, entered guilty pleas today to distribution of oxycodone. They each face up to 20 years when they are sentenced on August 13, 2014 by United States District Court Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr.


In January of 2012, detectives with the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force used a confidential informant to buy oxycodone from Ronnie Norman, Sr., at Branchland home in Lincoln County. In September of 2012, detectives made another controlled buy from the Norman residence.


This time, however, when the informant asked to buy oxycodone pills, Ronnie Norman, Sr. retrieved the pills, handed them to his son, Ronnie Norman, Jr., who then gave the pills to the informant in exchange for cash. Ronnie Norman, Jr. then handed the drug money to his father.


The Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force is in charge of the prosecution.


This case is being 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.


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