HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man who was caught with heroin pleaded guilty today to a federal drug crime, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. James Lennon Pace, 27, entered his guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute heroin.
On June 26, 2015, an officer with the Huntington Police Department observed Pace walking along the 1400 block of 10th Avenue in Huntington. Officers had been looking for Pace as a suspect in an unrelated crime. When approached by law enforcement, Pace gave the officer a false name and repeatedly placed his hands in his pockets. Officers detained Pace and discovered approximately 39 grams of heroin in one of Pace’s pockets. Pace admitted that he intended to distribute the heroin.
On September 22, 2015, agents with the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 1201 Charleston Avenue in Huntington after observing Pace leave the residence. During the search, agents seized over 360 grams of heroin, some of which was mixed with fentanyl – an opiate painkiller roughly 40 to 50 times more powerful than pure heroin. Agents also seized firearms, over $4,000 in cash, a press used to prepare heroin, and other drug paraphernalia.
Pace faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on September 6, 2016.
The Huntington Police Department and the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is responsible for the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
This case is being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.
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