HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A New Jersey man who was caught selling drugs near a school in West Huntington last September last year pled guilty today to a federal drug and gun charges, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Eric Moore Bellamy, 51, entered guilty pleas to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin within one-thousand feet of a school and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in federal court in Huntington. Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Huntington Police Department.
“Bellamy’s den of drugs and guns was close to an elementary school and our precious children,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “I appreciate the great effort by law enforcement to get him off the streets. We will protect our children at all cost from the drug traffickers that cause so much pain in our communities. You can bet that if you are selling drugs near a school, we will charge you accordingly. Drug thugs that put our most vulnerable in harm’s way will be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law.”
On September 12, 2018, after officers with the Huntington Police Department developed information that Bellamy was selling drugs in West Huntington, a search warrant was executed at his residence located at 1037 Madison Avenue. During the search, officers seized crack cocaine and heroin from a dresser in the residence. In a separate drawer of the same dresser containing the drugs, officers seized a loaded Springfield .45 caliber pistol, a loaded Ruger Model P85, 9mm pistol, and a loaded Imperial Metal, Model 9, .22 caliber revolver. Bellamy was arrested and admitted to officers that he possessed the drugs and firearms and that he had been selling both crack and heroin in the West Huntington area.
Bellamy’s residence is located within one-thousand feet of Grace Christian School, a private elementary and secondary school. Bellamy admitted at his plea hearing that he possessed the firearms to serve as protection based on his distribution of drugs. Bellamy was also prohibited from possessing firearms based on multiple prior felony convictions he received in the State of New Jersey.
Bellamy faces a mandatory minimum of 1 year up to 40 years in federal prison for the drug charge, and a consecutive mandatory minimum of 5 years up to life in federal prison for the gun charge, when he is sentenced on June 17, 2019.
Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is 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.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on March 5, 2019.