Friday, February 25, 2011

Georgia Man Sentenced to Prison on Federal Drug Charges

A member of a sophisticated drug ring operating in the Huntington, West Virginia area was sentenced yesterday in federal court. Kenneth "Kid" Pertillo, 27, of Macon, Georgia, was sentenced by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers to 46 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base. On June 12, 2009, officers with the Huntington Police Department arrested Pertillo and Thomaas "30" Redding for traffic violations in the 2200 block of Artisan Avenue in Huntington. After finding illegal drugs in the car, officers arrested Pertillo and Redding. During a strip search at the police station, Pertillo removed a bag containing more than five grams of cocaine base from his body. He also carried in his pockets $1,507 in cash which included 51 $20 bills.

The long-term, multi-state investigation revealed that by working together in a relatively sophisticated drug distribution organization, members enjoyed increased profits from their illegal drug sales. Through their coordinated efforts of buying drugs in larger quantities for resale, the drug ring was able to widen their customer base and increase their market share in the Huntington area.

The investigation further revealed that group members recruited others from their hometown of Macon, Georgia to relocate to Huntington to sell drugs with the promise of higher profits. They manufactured powder cocaine into crack cocaine, trained new arrivals in local crack pricing and portioning, used counter-surveillance techniques to avoid detection by law enforcement, provided financial assistance to retain defense attorneys and post bond for incarcerated members, arranged for storage of drugs and firearms in the homes of local residents, paid local addicts with crack to rent cars for trips out-of-state to resupply the group with drugs, shared handguns for use while dealing drugs, and other actions which increased the effectiveness of the group.

In all, the drug ring members and their associates received sentences totaling 1,072 months, or almost 90 years, collectively. Pertillo's co-defendants were previously sentenced for their roles: Charles "Goldie" Williams—136 months in prison; Nekoase "Shadow/Fly" Vinson—168 months in prison; Thomaas "30" Redding—69 months in prison; and Antonio "T.O." Whitehead—108 months in prison. Other conspiracy members and associates were previously convicted under separate indictments, including Maurice "Edith" Dugger—85 months; SylVester "Twin" Dugger—150 months; SylEster Dugger—95 months; Jennifer "J-Lo" Ferrell—33 months; Mark King—108 months; Robin Bailey—84 months; and Lisa Bailey—36 months.

The investigation was conducted by the Huntington Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Huntington Police Department, West Virginia State Police, WVSP Forensic Laboratory, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lawrence County (Ohio) Drug Task Force, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, Cabell County Sheriff's Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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