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Michigan man sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking in Raleigh County

BECKLEY, W. Va (WVVA) - A Michigan man was sentenced to federal prison for participating in drug trafficking in Raleigh County.

United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced that 31-year old Clifford Howell of Eastpointe, Michigan was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison, followed by a five year term of supervised release.

Howell is one of 17 defendents charged in federal court as a result of a long-term investigation known as Operation Shutdown Corner.

“Great work by the more than 200 law enforcement agents from more than five states who were involved in Operation Shutdown Corner,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “The operation took down a major drug trafficking organization and 17 people have been charged as a result. It stands as a significant achievement in our goal to rid our district of out-of-state drug dealers.”

In June of 2020, Howell admitted that between June 2018 and September 17, 2019, he worked with other members of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in Raleigh County, W. Va. to distribute heroin.

During this time, Howell admitted to traveling to Michigan to obtain heroin, and then returning to the Southern District of West Virginia to supply other members of the DTO with the heroin.

Howell admitted that during this time period he supplied other members of the DTO with more than 100 grams of heroin, knowing it was the plan and purpose of the other members to redistribute the drugs within the Southern District of West Virginia..

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, the Beckley Police Department and the West Virginia State Police.

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess handled the prosecution.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:19-cr-00227.

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