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UPDATE: Second South Point Man Sentenced in Pain Pill Scheme

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 8/6/13
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A man from South Point, Ohio, who participated in an illegal pill distribution scheme in Huntington, has been sentenced to two years in a federal prison.

Jeffrey Allen King, 48, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Huntington.

In May, King pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone. King began working with convicted pill dealer and Huntington auto mechanic, Vernon Browning Sr., 45, of South Point, in the summer of 2012.

During the pill distribution conspiracy, King performed welding labor for Browning in exchange for prescription pain pills.

In the late summer of 2012, King was recruited by Browning to travel to several medical clinics to obtain prescription pills. On one particular occasion, King made trip to a medical clinic located in Charleston to obtain prescription pain pills, including oxycodone, on Browning’s behalf. The pills were later brought back to Huntington and sold.

Last month, Browning Sr. was sentenced to five years and ten months in prison for distribution of oxycodone.

Beginning in 2008, Browning funded and organized dozens of trips to Atlanta to obtain oxycodone and oxymorphone pills. The pills were later brought back to the Little Garage on the Corner automotive shop in west Huntington where he and several associates stored and illegally sold the pills.



UPDATE 7/29/13 @ 10:35 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An auto mechanic who led prescription painkiller scheme that brought pills from Atlanta to Huntington was sentenced Monday five years and 10 months in federal prison.

In April, Vernon Browning, 45, of South Point, Ohio, pleaded guilty in April to distribution of oxycodone. Browning was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Huntington.

Federal prosecutors say that starting in 2008, Browning began funding and organizing dozens of trips to Atlanta to obtain oxycodone and oxymorphone pills.

The pills were brought back to the Little Garage on the Corner automotive shop in Huntington, where Browning and his associates stored and illegally sold the pills.

“Mr. Browning evidently wasn’t just fixing cars; he was fueling an illegal pill trafficking enterprise,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said. “Fighting the pill epidemic has been my office’s leading priority. Pill dealers will be caught and they will be prosecuted.”

Federal prosecutors say that in March 2012 Browning sold 18 30-milligram oxymorphone pills to a confidential informant working for the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force in exchange for $990. The transaction took place at the garage.

During the scheme, Browning rented vehicles for the trips to Atlanta and helped associates obtain driver’s licenses in an effort to get legitimate prescriptions from Georgia doctors. Also, between January 2012 and July 2012, Browning rented hotel rooms on 32 different occasions and typically paid for the room rentals in cash.

On Feb. 24, 2012, law enforcement agents conducted a controlled purchase of two oxymorphone pills from Browning. The transaction took place at Browning’s South Point residence.

On March 3, 2013, Browning rented a vehicle and traveled to Georgia to obtain pain pills.

After obtaining the pills, Browning shipped the 240 30-milligram oxycodone pills from Georgia to his South Point residence. The shipment of pills was intercepted by police.



UPDATE 5/15/13
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Chesapeake, Ohio man who participated in a scheme to obtain prescription painkillers from Atlanta to bring back to Huntington to sell has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges.

Herman Edison Aliff, Jr, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone and Oxymorphone in U.S. District Court in Huntington Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors say Aliff made more than two dozen trips to Atlanta to obtain the pills.

The trips were funded and organized by Aliff’s co-defendant Vernon Browning, 45, of South Point, Ohio, who recently pleaded guilty to federal drug conspiracy charges.

In 2008 or early 2009, Browning hired Aliff and others to make trips to Atlanta to obtain prescription painkiller pills. After returning from the trips, Browning stored the pills at The Little Garage on the Corner, located on 13th Street in Huntington.

Aliff was an employee at the garage and was often paid for his work in pills. For more than two years, Aliff participated in the trips.

Aliff faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced in August.

Last week, Jeffrey King, 48, of South Point, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute Oxydocone and Oxymorphone for his role in the operation.

King and Browning also face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when they are sentenced.



UPDATE 5/7/13
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A South Point, Ohio man has pleaded guilty to his role in a painkiller distribution operation that federal prosecutors say brought pills from both out-of-state and in-state to sell out of a automotive repair garage in Huntington.

The U.S Attorney’s Office in West Virginia says Jeffrey King, 48, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxydocone and oxymorphone during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Huntington Monday.

King, Vernon Browning, 45, of South Point, and Hermon Aliff Jr.,39, of South Point, were all indicted on federal drug distribution charges back in February.

Browning, who prosecutors say organized and participated in the operation, pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge on April 29.

According King’s plea, he was recruited by Browning in the spring or early summer 2012 to go to Georgia with others to obtain prescription pills to be sold in the Huntington area.

The plea also says that King made at least two trips to a clinic in Charleston, W.Va., to buy pills. King said that Browning fronted the expenses for all of the trips and would pay him in pills.

King also told prosecutors that he had a person who would sell pills to Browning.

King faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $1 million fine when he is sentenced in August. It is the same sentence that Browning faces.

Federal prosecutors say that starting in 2008, Browning began funding and organizing trips to obtain oxycodone and oxymorphone pills. They said after returning from the trips, Browning and his associates stored the pills at an automotive repair shop in west Huntington that is listed as his place of business in the indictment.

During the operation, investigators say Browning typically rented vehicles for the trips to Atlanta and assisted co-conspirators with obtaining driver’s licenses in an effort to get legitimate prescriptions from doctors in Georgia. His sentencing is set for July.

The U.S Attorney’s Office says at this time they do not have a status on Aliff’s case.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information



UPDATE 5/1/13 @ 10 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A pill dealer who organized and participated in more than two dozen trips to Atlanta to obtain prescription painkillers to bring back to a Huntington automotive shop to sell has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges.

Vernon Browning, 45, of South Point, Ohio, entered the plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Huntington.

Federal Prosecutors say that in 2008, Browning began funding and organizing trips to obtain oxycodone and oxymorphone pills. They said after returning from the trips, Browning and his associates stored the pills at an automotive repair shop in west Huntington that is listed as his place of business in the indictment.

During the scheme, Browning typically rented vehicles for the trips to Atlanta and assisted co-conspirators with obtaining driver’s licenses in an effort to get legitimate prescriptions from doctors in Georgia.

Also, between January 2012 and July 2012, Browning rented hotel rooms on 32 different occasions and typically paid for the rooms in cash.

On February 24, 2012, agents with the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force purchased two oxymorphone pills from Browning at his residence in South Point, Ohio.

On March 3, 2013, Browning rented a vehicle and traveled to Georgia to buy the pills. Browning then mailed 240 oxycodone pills to his home, but the shipment was intercepted by police.

Prosecutors say in March 2012, Browning sold 18 oxymorphone pills to a confidential informant working for the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force in exchange for $990. The transaction took place at the west Huntington garage.

During the hearing Browning pleaded guilty to one count of distributing Oxymorhone. The original indictment charged him with conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone or Oxynorohone, and distributing Oxycodone.

Browning faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced in July.

A dentist's office on the same block has been broken into twice.

Receptionist Vickie Altizer says they presume the break-ins were by addicts wanting something similar to what they were getting at the garage.

“It's nice to know they're catching them, getting these people, getting it cleared up," Altizer said.


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