Drug partnership convicts another Northern W.Va. heroin dealer

By Chris Dickerson | Sep 29, 2016

WHEELING — A Wheeling Island man has pleaded guilty to heroin trafficking in the state’s Northern Panhandle, becoming the fifth drug conviction credited to a partnership between West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II.

Justin Thomas Mann, 28, pleaded guilty Sept. 29 to distribution of heroin. He admitted to selling heroin this past February in Ohio County.

“We must stand against those whose peddle heroin in our state,” Morrisey said in a statement. “This conviction demonstrates the success government agencies can have in defeating this epidemic, if everyone works together for the common cause – a drug-free West Virginia.”

West Virginia Chief Operating Officer and Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Martin prosecuted the Mann case in his dual role as a special assistant U.S. attorney. It was investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

The guilty plea represents the partnership’s fifth conviction overall and first in Wheeling.

Mann faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million for each count, although any actual punishment will depend upon federal guidelines that measure the seriousness of the offense and any prior criminal history.

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