Four admit in federal court in Wheeling, WV, to trafficking in p - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Four admit in federal court in Wheeling, WV, to trafficking in painkillers

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Four people involved in a large prescription painkiller trafficking ring in the Wheeling, West Virginia area entered guilty pleas recently in federal court, U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said.

Admitting to dealing drugs were:

*Katherine Hungerman, 45, of Shadyside, Ohio — distribution of oxycodone. She faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing.

*Christopher Howard, 39, of Wheeling — one count of conspiracy to distribute Schedule II and III controlled substances and one count of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance. Howard, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces up to 24 years in prison.

*Derick Namack, 39, of Wheeling — distribution of oxycodone. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

*Jill West, also known as Jill Namack, 31, of Wheeling, conspiracy to engage in interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise. West faces up to 5 years in prison.

The four were among 15 people indicted in February at the culmination of a 16-month investigation into the redistribution of oxycodone and other prescription drugs that came to the Ohio Valley from northern Ohio and Detroit, Michigan. Over the course of the investigation, thousands of pills were recovered by agents via controlled purchases and court-authorized searches.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Parr handled the cases on behalf of the government.

The case was investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force, which includes officers and agents from the Wheeling Police Department, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, the West Virginia State Police-BCI, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The Ohio Valley Drug Task Force is an Appalachia HITDA-funded initiative.