Drug-related offenses send Clarksburg residents to prison - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Drug-related offenses send Clarksburg residents to prison

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Three Clarksburg residents were sentenced to federal prison for drug-related offenses, U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld II reports.

Justin Zachary "PeeWee" Rosa, 20, will spend 125 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user and heroin addict.

Rosa also must forfeit $4,822 in cash, proceeds from the drug dealings, as well as a cell phone, a Smith and Wesson revolver and $4,720 in counterfeit currency.

LeRoy Rousseau, 25, was sentenced to 84 months in prison followed by six years of supervised release for involving an individual under the age of 18 in drug operations and felon in possession of a firearm. Rousseau, formerly of Washington, D.C., also must forfeit a .45 caliber Haskell pistol he used.

Rosseau's co-defendants, Francesca Strakal, 21, and Talya Keener, 22, both of Clarksburg, were sentenced to three years of probation for maintaining a drug-involved premise.

Nicole Bennett, 33, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for "intentional harassment to dissuade another person from assisting in a criminal prosecution."

"Ensuring the safety of witnesses is paramount and persons who intentionally harass federal witnesses, particular juvenile witnesses, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Ihlenfeld said.

In other cases:

 

  • Ronald Starkey, 29, of Morgantown, was sentenced to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. This case was investigated by the ATF and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda E. Wesley.
  • Ben Phares, 27, of Kingwood, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for dealing heroin within 1,000 feet of a protected location. His case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police-Bureau of Criminal Investigations and prosecuted by Wesley.
  • Michael Mathena, 28, of Clarksburg, was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in prison after pleading guilty to attempted escape. Mathena had been confined at the Bannum Place Halfway House in Clarksburg to serve the remainder of a sentence for violating supervised release conditions for a federal drug offense in November when he left and did not return. He was arrested five days later. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Cogar and investigated by U.S. marshals.