HUNTINGTON, WV, (WVNS) – The final two of 19 defendants were sentenced to prison for their involvement in a drug ring bringing illegal substances into West Virginia.
The two sentences were delivered today, September 7, 2022. They finish a case that secured convictions against all 19 defendants. An Ohio man and a Huntington woman were the last to be sentenced to prison for their roles in the drug trafficking organization. The organization distributed large amounts of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and other illegal drugs into the state from the Huntington area.
Brayan Luces, 25, of Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced to 10 years in prison with five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and five kilograms or more of cocaine.
Kimberly Ann Combs, 45, of Huntington, was sentenced to six months in prison, with three years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone.
According to court information, from May to July 2021, Luces regularly shipped a minimum of 1 kilogram of fentanyl and 1 kilogram of cocaine to Huntington. The fentanyl and cocaine were transported by car and given to a buyer on consignment. After the drugs were sold in the Huntington area, Luces would receive the drug proceeds, which were taken back to Columbus.
On July 22, 2021, local law enforcement searched Luces’ home in Columbus and seized 13 kilograms of fentanyl, 2 kilograms of methamphetamine, approximately $26,484 in cash, two firearms, and various magazines and ammunition.
Combs admitted that she bought 104 30-milligram oxycodone pills from co-defendant William Raeshaun Byrd at his Huntington home on July 23, 2021. When Combs left Byrd’s residence, law enforcement officers stopped her vehicle and recovered the pills. Combs also admitted that she bought pills from Byrd on at least 10 other occasions in June and July 2021, and gave pills to others.
This successful prosecution disrupted a conspiracy that distributed a variety of drugs including fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone, and heroin. Law enforcement officers seized more than 47 pounds of fentanyl, 6.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 4.5 pounds of cocaine and 2 pounds of heroin as well as 14 firearms and more than $335,000 in cash.
“Tremendous dedication and teamwork removed massive volumes of deadly drugs from one of our most vulnerable and hard-pressed communities. It is critical that we target the supply side as we reduce overdose deaths and obstacles to recovery, and this is a prime example of an effective prosecution toward that end.”United States Attorney Will Thompson
“This investigation demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement at all levels to investigate and prosecute those who pollute local neighborhoods with dangerous drug. This investigation effectively dismantled a multi-state drug trafficking organization that chose to set up operations in the Huntington area. The FBI will continue to work with our partners to rid the streets of these criminals and make our communities safer for all citizens.”Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall
The previous defendants were sentenced to the following prison terms after pleading guilty to various felony offenses:
- William Raeshaun Byrd, 32, of Huntington, to 15 years for conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 5 kilograms or more of cocaine;
- Marvin Jerome Calvin, 41, of Huntington, to six years and six months for distribution of fentanyl;
- Mark Anthony Chandler, 31, of Huntington, to four years and four months for possession with intent to distribute cocaine;
- Donald Duane Cole, 52, of Huntington, to five years and 10 months possession with intent to distribute cocaine base;
- Robert Lamont Congleton, 42, of Huntington, to six months for being a felon in possession of a firearm;
- Reginald Jerome Hairston, 45, of Huntington, to four years and four months for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine;
- Marcus Allen Johnson, 37, of Huntington, to two years using a communication facility to facilitate a felony drug offense;
- Erica Antoinette Kirker, 35, of Huntington, to seven years and six months for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and 40 grams or more of fentanyl;
- Aaron Scott Midkiff, 27, of Huntington, to six years and five months for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine;
- Edward Shane Midkiff, 35, of Huntington, to three years and one month for distribution of methamphetamine;
- Scott Lee Midkiff, 36, of Huntington, to 17 years for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl;
- William Edward Nellons Jr., 38, of Huntington, to three years and 10 months for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and fentanyl;
- Leonard Brandon Joe Rice, 36, of Louisa, Kentucky, to two years for using a communication facility to facilitate a felony drug offense;
- Dennis Wayne Snyder, 32, of Hurricane, to seven years for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams of more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine;
- Ricky Lee Taylor, 58, of Charleston, to two years for using a telephone to facilitate a felony controlled substance offense;
- Christopher Leon Vest, 34, of Huntington, to 12 years and six months for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine;
- Dillon Andrew Young, 29, of Sissonville, to two years and six months for use of a communications facility in committing, causing, and facilitating a felony controlled substance offense.
Thompson commended the investigative work of the FBI and the Southern West Virginia TOC-West Task Force and everyone else involved.
“I also commend Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph F. Adams and Courtney L. Cremeans for their tenacious prosecution of this case that ensured guilty pleas from each and every defendant,”United States Attorney Will Thompson
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentences.