Huntington Man Pleads Guilty to Gun and Drug Crimes

Huntington Man Pleads Guilty to Gun and Drug Crimes

(STL.News) A Huntington man pleaded guilty today to possession with intent to distribute heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 10, 2021, law enforcement officers observed multiple suspected hand-to-hand drug transactions at a Fifth Avenue residence in Huntington involving an individual later identified as Curtis Leroy Hayes, Jr., 47. When Hayes left the residence in a vehicle, officers initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle.

Hayes was arrested, and officers found approximately 6.4 grams of suspected heroin on his person. Hayes admitted to officers that he had been selling heroin for several months. Officers executed a search warrant at Hayes’ residence, where they recovered a loaded Bryco Arms, Jennings Model Nine 9mm pistol in his bedroom.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Hayes knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his convictions for first-degree murder and second-degree murder in Cabell County Circuit Court on December 19, 1995, and for possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime in United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on March 27, 1995.

Hayes is scheduled to be sentenced on September 19, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $1.25 million fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan A. Keefe is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.

Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.