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Police seize $80K worth of heroin

Jan. 01, 2014 @ 08:57 AM

HUNTINGTON — Three Michigan men are behind bars following a major heroin bust in the 1400 block of Jefferson Avenue early Tuesday morning.

Huntington Police said they executed a high-risk search warrant at the apartment in the West End around 7 a.m. as part of an extensive drug investigation by the department's Special Emphasis Unit with assistance from the West Virginia State Police.

Inside the apartment, police said they seized approximately one pound of heroin, with a street value of $80,000, as well as packaging materials, scales and $12,000 in cash.

Three men were also located and arrested. Christopher LaMarr Shawn Harris, 27, of Brownstown, Mich.; Denzell LaMar Bunkley, 21, of Detroit; and Steven Edward Lewis, 27, of Detroit, have all been charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Police are also looking for Brandon S. Keaton, 28, of Huntington, in connection with the investigation. He is wanted on charges of delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin.

Keaton is a white male, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 150 pounds, with brown short hair, green eyes and is known to frequent the West End of Huntington.

Officials around the Tri-State have taken notice to the growing heroin problem, noting a rise in heroin overdoses and arrests in recent years. Some lawmakers in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky are calling for legislation promoting tougher sentences for traffickers and more money allotted to treatment programs to be introduced in 2014.

"The amount of heroin seized in this investigation underscores the fact that heroin is and continues to be the most pressing drug issue facing our community," said Captain Rocky Johnson, commander of the Special Investigations Bureau.

Police said they initiated the investigation after officers received information from numerous concerned residents, shift patrol officers and city workers about suspicious activity in and around the apartment building. The subsequent investigation determined heroin was being stored and sold from an apartment.

Police said the investigation is part of the River to Rail Initiative in the city's West End, which is aimed at reducing crime in the Central City area through increased patrols and undercover investigations.

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