Akron has again been singled out as a source of illegal drugs coming to West Virginia.

A 25-year-old Akron man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia, to possession with intent to distribute three types of drugs in that city last year: methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid.

Mike Stuart, the U.S. attorney overseeing the southern district of West Virginia, this week again took the opportunity to call Akron out for its role in drug trafficking in West Virginia.

“We don’t need Akron exporting their problems to our district,” Stuart said in a prepared statement issued Tuesday about the guilty verdict. “More must be done to keep Akron troublemakers in Akron.”

Stuart continued: “A city that once exported tires, from the Rubber Capital of the world, is now exporting drugs to West Virginia and other great places. It needs to end.”

Anton Marcel Jeffries, 25, admitted that on Sept. 19 last year he possessed multiple plastic bags of what was believed to be methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl in a Huntington apartment.

Forensic testing determined that the substances were about 108 grams of methamphetamine, 25 grams of heroin and 12 grams of fentanyl.

Jeffries faces a minimum mandatory five years in prison, with a maximum of 40 years when sentenced Dec. 2.

Last November, Stuart told the Charleston Gazette-Mail, "Akron is playing a larger and larger role in drug trafficking in West Virginia.”

Akron drug dealers, Stuart told the newspaper, were “causing real problems for the state, but we're not going to tolerate the situation any longer."

Last November, officials in West Virginia announced they shut down a drug pipeline that ran between the Rubber City and Charleston, the state capital.

Officials said then that a federal grand jury indicted Eugene Calvin Wells, 44, of Akron, and two Charleston women in the case.

"I grew up with three 'R's — reading, writing and the road map to Akron," Stuart said in a prepared statement issued in connection with that case.

"Now it's time for reading, writing and the road map back to Akron. For Eugene Wells and his trafficking buddies, Akron is no longer an option."

A couple of months earlier — in September of last year — Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial told local television station WSAZ that Akron is a problem.

"Everyone is aware there's a group of individuals that are coming out of Akron dealing drugs," Dial said. "They seem to be a more dangerous younger group than the dealers from Detroit."

Last December, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette published a lengthy story about how crystal meth has overtaken illegal drug use in part of that state.

In the story, Blaine Clark, the police chief of DuBois, Pennsylvania, singled out the Rubber City as a source of drugs there. “We’re getting a lot of local people going down to Akron, Ohio. That’s a big hot spot.”

DuBois is about 156 miles east of Akron.

 

Beacon Journal staff writer Amanda Garrett contributed to this report.