by Ron Gregory
Charleston — A Detroit man pleaded guilty today to a federal drug charge, according to Southern District United States Attorney Carol Casto. Darrell Eugene Woodside, 46, entered a guilty plea to use a telephone to facilitate the distribution of heroin.
Woodside admitted that from October 2015 through March 2016, while in Detroit, he communicated by phone regarding heroin trafficking with his nephew in Boone County, Daymeon Johnson. Woodside also admitted that these conversations were to help arrange the delivery of heroin from Michigan to West Virginia for distribution in and around Boone County. Woodside additionally admitted making travel arrangements for runners carrying heroin and cash between Michigan and West Virginia.
Woodside faces up to four years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 22.
This case is part of a long-term investigation of heroin trafficking in Boone County conducted by the West Virginia State Police and the U.S. Route 119 Drug Task Force. The investigation has led to convictions of several defendants. Christopher Priestly, of Bloomingrose, was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison for distribution of heroin. Robert Donavan Buzzard, of Bloomingrose, was sentenced to a year and nine months in federal prison for distribution of heroin. Gregory Scott Runion, of Seth, was sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Daymeon Johnson, of Detroit, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 4. Joyce Ann Zornes, of Seth, previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin and faces up to 20 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on April 27.
Assistant United States Attorney Joshua C. Hanks is in charge of these prosecutions. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.
These cases are 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.