HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – A Columbus man and a Huntington woman have been sentenced in connection to drug trafficking in the Mountain State.

During a press conference Sept. 7, 2022, United States Attorney Will Thompson said Brayan Luces, 25, of Columbus, Ohio and Kimberly Ann Combs, 45, of Huntington were the last of 19 people charged in a major, multistate drug trafficking organization to be sentenced.

Thompson says Luces was previously convicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl and five kilograms or more of cocaine. He was sentenced today, Sept. 7, 2022 to serve 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

Combs was convicted on a charge of possession with intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone, Thompson said. She was sentenced today, Sept. 7, 2022, to serve six months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

“Tremendous dedication and teamwork removed massive volumes of deadly drugs from one of our most vulnerable and hard-pressed communities,” Thompson said. “It is critical that we target the supply side as we reduce overdose deaths and obstacles to recovery, and this is a prime example of an effective prosecution toward that end.”

Court documents and statements say Luces regularly shipped at least one kilogram each of fentanyl and cocaine to Huntington between May and July 2021. Thompson’s office says the illegal drugs were transported by vehicle and “provided to an individual on consignment.” Court documents say once the drugs were sold, the proceeds would be driven to him in Columbus.

A search warrant was executed on Luces’ Columbus home on July 22, 2021. Authorities say they seized 12 kilograms of fentanyl, two kilograms of methamphetamine and approximately $26,484 in cash along with two firearms and various magazines and ammunition.

According to Thompson, Combs admitting to buying 104 30 milligram oxycodone pills on July 23, 2021, from one of the co-defendants, identified by Thompson as William Raeshaun Byrd at his home in Huntington. Court documents say law enforcement officers stopped Combs’ vehicle after she left the home and found the pills. She then admitted that she had bought oxycodone pills from Byrd at least 10 other times between June and July 2021 and had given some of them to another person, Thompson says.

Thompson says the organization mainly operated out of West Virginia, but also operated in Ohio and Kentucky. The overall investigation resulted in charges in trafficking multiple narcotics including 47 pounds of fentanyl, 6.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 4.5 pounds of cocaine and two pounds of heroin. Investigators also seized cocaine base – known as “crack”- 14 firearms and more than $335,000 in cash.

“This investigation demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement at all levels to investigate and prosecute those who pollute local neighborhoods with dangerous drugs,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “This investigation effectively dismantled a multi-state drug trafficking organization that chose to set up operations in the Huntington area. The FBI will continue work with our partners to rid the streets of these criminals and make our communities safer for all citizens.”

The FBI, the Southern West Virginia TOC-West Task Force – including the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office, the Hurricane Police Department and the Marshall University Police Department – The West Virginia State Police, The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Kentucky State Police and the FBI and DEA in Columbus, Ohio all coordinated for the investigation.

Other defendants sentenced include:

  • William Raeshaun Byrd, 32, of Huntington – 15 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and five kilograms or more of cocaine.
  • Marvin Jerome Calvin, 41, of Huntington – Six years and six months for distribution of fentanyl.
  • Mark Anthony Chandler, 31, of Huntington – four years and four months for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
  • Donald Duane Cole, 52, of Huntington – five years and 10 months for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base.
  • Robert Lamont Congleton, 42, of Huntington – six months for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Reginald Jerome Hairston, 45, of Huntington – four years and four months for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine.
  • Marcus Allen Johnson, 37, of Huntington – two years for using a communication facility to facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Erica Antoinette Kirker, 35, of Huntington – seven years and six months for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
  • Aaron Scott Midkiff, 27, of Huntington – six years and five months for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine.
  • Edward Shane Midkiff, 35, of Huntington – three years and one month for distribution of methamphetamine.
  • Scott Lee Midkiff, 36, of Huntington – 17 years for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl.
  • William Edward Nellons Jr., 38, of Huntington – three years and 10 months for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and fentanyl.
  • Leonard Brandon Joe Rice, 36, of Louisa, KY – two years for using a communication facility to facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Dennis Wayne Snyder, 32, of Hurricane – seven years for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.
  • Ricky Lee Taylor, 58, of Charleston – two years for using a telephone to facilitate a felony controlled substance offense.
  • Christopher Leon vest, 34, of Huntington – 12 years and six months for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine.
  • Dillon Andrew Young, 29, of Sissonville – two years and six months for use of a communications facility in committing, causing and facilitating a felony controlled substance offense.