Man admits to heroin charge
HUNTINGTON -- A man at the center of a Huntington drug case has pleaded guilty, admitting he helped another person traffic heroin last year.
Gary D. Easterling, 45, last week admitted to aiding and abetting heroin possession with intent to distribute the drug. Sentencing is set for Sept. 8.
Easterling signed an agreement with prosecutors stating he jointly possessed 73 grams of heroin March 8, 2013. Authorities discovered the heroin and $3,390 cash at a Huntington apartment in the 1400 block of 6th Avenue.
The case has been the subject of four indictments since spring 2013. Easterling marks the fourth of five defendants to plead guilty in the case.
Easterling further admitted to involvement in trafficking 1 to 3 kilograms of heroin for sentencing consideration, however charges associated with the admission were dismissed in exchange for the guilty plea. Prosecutors also agreed not to seek an enhanced sentence based upon Easterling's criminal record.
Chief among the four dismissed counts was a conspiracy charge that involved at least 100 grams of heroin and at least 28 grams of crack cocaine, along with quantities of powdered cocaine, oxycodone and oxymorphone.
Other dismissed counts alleged aiding and abetting heroin distribution in February 2013, along with charges that Easterling used threat of physical force Dec. 10, 2013, in Grayson, Ky., to influence, delay or prevent witness testimony and in retaliation for information provided to law enforcement.
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