AG, federal partnership nets another heroin conviction

By Chris Dickerson | Apr 20, 2016

MARTINSBURG — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced today the conviction of a Maryland man for trafficking heroin in the Eastern Panhandle.

William Tillman, 50, of Annapolis, Maryland, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin as related to an April 28, 2014, drug deal in Berkeley County.

Tillman’s co-defendant, Wendy Ann Nusbaum, pleaded guilty in March to distribution of heroin. It stemmed from a May 1, 2014, drug transaction in Berkeley County.

Tillman and Nusbaum each face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, although their actual sentence will depend upon federal guidelines that measure the seriousness of their offenses and any prior criminal history.

The guilty pleas mark the second and third convictions as result of a partnership between Morrisey's office and that of U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II.

“Defeating heroin’s grip will take everyone’s best effort,” Morrisey said in a statement. “This partnership symbolizes the success that can be achieved when government agencies team up for the common good.”

The partnership, announced in December, involves two lawyers from the Attorney General’s office serving as special assistant U.S. attorneys. These attorneys handle drug cases in their federal capacity with a special emphasis prosecuting heroin trafficking organizations in northern West Virginia.

The partnership also builds upon existing substance abuse prevention and education initiatives targeting West Virginia youth.

West Virginia Assistant Attorney General Lara Omps-Botteicher prosecuted the Tillman-Nusbaum case in her dual role as a special assistant U.S. attorney. It was investigated by the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.

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