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Drug, gun dealer sentenced to 11 years in prison

Nov. 17, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A local drug dealer has been sentenced to 11 years in prison several months after giving false testimony which voided a plea agreement that could have netted less time behind bars.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers handed down the sentence Thursday against Lamont Lee Miller Jr. The 23-year-old from Huntington had pleaded guilty to five counts of distributing crack cocaine and two counts of illegal gun possession.

The drug crimes took place during summer 2010 in Huntington. The specific dates were June 24, June 29, July 2, July 8 and Aug. 20.

The gun crimes involved a 9mm pistol on June 23 and .223 caliber rifle on July 14. Both guns were purchased by undercover federal agents. Miller had been prohibited from possessing any firearm at that time due to an active malicious wounding indictment in Cabell Circuit Court.

The case was prosecuted as part of Operation Smokin' Aces, which involved undercover agents operating a fictitious storefront located at 917 20th St. in Huntington.

Miller initially pleaded guilty to the gun charges, but that agreement was voided by false testimony, according to court documents and a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

A defense memorandum blamed Miller's misdeeds on years of limited income and psychological deficits, which created a desperate situation leading to a life of illegal gun sales and drugs.

Miller signed a stipulation of facts linking him to as many as 18 firearms. The defense argued Miller sold so many firearms, in part, because undercover agents offered higher than market prices for his guns. He found it impossible to refuse due to his family's financial situation.

Despite the stipulation, the prosecution's charging document only accused Miller of possessing two guns. Prosecutors also dismissed an additional count of crack cocaine distribution in exchange for the plea.