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Repeat offender gets three-year sentence

Dec. 04, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A repeat drug offender with ties to Detroit was sentenced to federal prison Monday in a case that involves heroin shipped to Huntington via the U.S. Postal Service.

Rodney Lee Flowers, 48, received a 3-year prison sentence. The punishment stems from a September guilty plea to the charge of attempting to possess a half pound of heroin with intent to distribute.

The case involved a shipment initially bound for a residence in the 2200 block of Washington Avenue, but intercepted April 3 by authorities at Huntington's main post office. Investigators were tipped off to the expected delivery as they investigated suspected drug activity at the residence, according to court filings.

Flowers later admitted his role as the package's intended recipient, his intent to sell the heroin in Huntington and identified his source of supply. He then entered into an agreement with prosecutors to provide further information, court filings state.

The case marked Flowers' latest brush with law enforcement. His criminal record dates back to the early 1990s with cases identifying Flowers as "Christopher Dean Williams" and "Anthony Phillip Hollis," all of which relate to the same person, according to court and Bureau of Prison records, along with a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

This year's heroin case occurred just four months after Flowers' release from back-to-back federal prison sentences. Those punishments involved a 1997 crack cocaine conviction in Minnesota for which he received a 14-year sentence. That was followed by a 3-year, 1-month sentence for a heroin arrest in Michigan that violated Flowers' supervised release in the crack case.

Bureau of Prison records show Flowers was released from the lesser punishment Dec. 17, 2012, said spokesman Chris Burke. Court records show the package was intercepted approximately four months later.

Flowers was spared a lengthier punishment in this year's case due to a motion by federal prosecutors, which credited the defendant with providing "substantial assistance." Specifics of the cooperation were not detailed in court records.

Flowers entered his September guilty plea without benefit of an agreement.

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