HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two Huntington men who participated in a drug ring distributing various drugs, including methamphetamine and cocaine, pleaded guilty today in federal court. Edward Shane Midkiff, 34, pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and Mark Anthony Chandler, 30, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
According to the plea agreements and statements made in court, on January 12, 2021, Midkiff was contacted by a confidential informant to arrange a methamphetamine purchase. Midkiff directed the informant to come to the 500 block of 4th Avenue in Huntington to complete the transaction. At that location, Midkiff met with the informant in a vehicle where he sold the informant methamphetamine.
On June 30, 2021, Chandler received approximately one-half kilogram of cocaine from another individual in Huntington. Chandler was subsequently transporting the cocaine to another location when a Deputy with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office initiated a traffic stop of Chandler’s vehicle. Chandler fled from the stop and was arrested on a later date. During the stop, the deputy seized the cocaine as well a 9mm pistol that Chandler left in the vehicle. Chandler admitted that he intended to distribute the cocaine.
Midkiff and Chandler both face up to 20 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on May 9, 2022.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Southern West Virginia TOC-West Task Force. The Southern West Virginia TOC-West Task Force consists of the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Hurricane Police Department, and the Marshall University Police Department, with support from the West Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West. The Ohio Highway Patrol, the Kentucky State Police, and the FBI and DEA in Columbus, Ohio also assisted in the investigation.
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearings. Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph F. Adams and Courtney L. Cremeans are handling the prosecutions.
The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.
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. 3:21-cr-00109.