HUNTINGTON, WV (WVNS) — As fentanyl cases continue to rise in West Virginia, another fentanyl related criminal pleads guilty on October 11, 2022.

Raymond Jaquette Howard, 34, of Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. On December 24, 2021, officers conducted a traffic stop of a car that Howard was sitting passenger in. Officers searched the vehicle and found approximately 399.6 grams of fentanyl in a backpack. Howard admitted that he intended to sell the fentanyl or direct others to sell the fentanyl on his behalf.

Howard is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2023, and faces a mandatory minimum of  10 years and up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $10 million fine.

“This case resulted in the seizure of a massive amount of fentanyl and removed an out-of-state supplier of this poison from our streets. I commend the investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West, and the West Virginia State Police.”

United States Attorney Will Thompson

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor as part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS), an enforcement surge that has sought to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas.