U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of West Virginia
(304) 234-0100
September 3, 2015

Six Convicted in Baltimore-to-West Virginia Heroin Trafficking Operation

MARTINSBURG, WV—Six individuals were convicted in federal court this week for their role in a multi-state heroin trafficking operation, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

The defendants convicted this week participated in a drug trafficking scheme in which heroin was transported across state lines from Baltimore, Maryland into West Virginia. The operation was disrupted in June 2015 by a 163-count federal indictment encompassing 41 defendants.

Shawn Bowers, 27, of Braddock Heights, Maryland, pled guilty to one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin.” He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. James Francis Hansen, Jr., 48, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, pled guilty to one count of “Aiding and Abetting Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin.” He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. Darla Kinser, 30, of Martinsburg, pled guilty to one count of “Aiding and Abetting Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering.” She faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

Michelle Lynn Warnick, 33, of Kearneysville, West Virginia, pled guilty to one count of “Use of a Telephone to Facilitate the Distribution of Heroin,” and one count of “Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering.” She faces up to four years in prison on the telephone count and up to five years in prison on the interstate travel count. They each face a fine of up to $500,000 on each count.

Steward Eugene Whitehead, Jr., 29, of Inwood, West Virginia, and William Wasson, 38, of Falling Waters, West Virginia, each pled guilty to one count of “Use of a Telephone to Facilitate the Distribution of Heroin,” and one count of “Aiding and Abetting Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering.” They each face up to four years in prison on the telephone count and up to five years in prison on the interstate travel count. They each face a fine of up to $500,000 on each count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anna Krasinski and Paul Camilletti prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation led the inquiry.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.

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