MARTINSBURG — A Maryland man will spend nearly two years in federal prison thanks to a partnership between West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II.

U.S. Chief District Judge Gina M. Groh ordered William Tillman to a 1-year, 9-month and three years supervised release. He was sentenced July 25 in Martinsburg.

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

“Those who deal heroin in West Virginia must be dealt with accordingly,” Morrisey said in a statement. “This punishment demonstrates my commitment to partnering with government agencies to see this epidemic eradicated from our state.”

Tillman’s co-defendant – Wendy Nusbaum, 49, of Hedgesville – previously received five years probation. She had pleaded guilty in March to distribution of heroin. It stemmed from a May 1, 2014, drug transaction in Berkeley County.

To date, the federal-state partnership has led to four convictions and three sentences since being announced in December 2015.

The pact 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.

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