Alleged Huntington drug leader appears in court

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The massive drug bust on Tuesday took down what law enforcement authorities call the “Peterson Drug Trafficking Organization”. It was a drug pipeline from Detroit to West Virginia. The person who allegedly led the drug network in Huntington, Manget Peterson, appeared in federal court Friday afternoon. 

Manget and three others being charged at the federal level had their initial hearings at the U.S. Courthouse in Huntington on Friday. Manget plead “not guilty” and waived his right for a detention hearing, meaning he’ll stay in jail until the case is resolved. 

“Manget Peterson, he didn’t even contest the detention hearing,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart. “He waived it, which is good news because he knew he wasn’t going to get detention and I think we were relatively successful today.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Manget has a criminal history that includes multiple arrests and felony convictions. In Cabell County alone, the 45-year-old was arrested in May 2016 and in August 2017. Both charges were for the distribution of narcotics. 

“We are building a solution to the problems that our citizens face,” said Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial. 

According to multiple law enforcement authorities, Manget and his brother, Willie Peterson, allegedly ran the drug tunnel, with Willie in Detroit, Michigan and Manget in Huntington, West Virginia. 

“We’re really happy that Manget Peterson, really the ringleader in Huntington, he’s going nowhere,” said Stuart. “He’s staying right in prison and that’s where we need him to be.”

The Peterson drug network as a whole led to the arrest of 15 people on Tuesday in a federal indictment for distributing heroin and fentanyl. In addition to Manget, three other people listed on the Peterson indictment have appeared in federal court in Huntington this week: David Miller, Lonnie Berry, and Jarred Moore. 

However, the takedown isn’t over yet. 

“We had another arrest just yesterday [Thursday] in Jacksonville, Florida related to the Peterson drug trafficking organization,” said Stuart. “We took down another one of the disciples of that group.”

Manget Peterson’s trial is scheduled to begin on June 19, 2018. 

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