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Hurricane Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking in Federal Court

Denzil Roger Grant II, 50, of Hurricane, pleaded guilty in federal court in Huntington on Wednesday, January 17, to possession with intent to distribute a quantity of methamphetamine. Grant admitted to his role in a drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl in the Huntington area.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Grant called co-defendant Derrell Cashawn Massey on September 27, 2023, and asked to purchase fentanyl and methamphetamine. Grant admitted that after arranging the transaction, he traveled from Hurricane to Huntington where he met with Massey and bought methamphetamine.

Grant was returning to Hurricane from Huntington when law enforcement officers stopped his vehicle in Putnam County. Grant consented to a search of the vehicle, and a female passenger in his vehicle gave officers approximately 13.5 grams of methamphetamine. Grant admitted that he intended to distribute the seized methamphetamine and further admitted that the passenger had hidden the methamphetamine on her person at his request.

Grant is scheduled for sentencing on May 6, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.

On January 22nd, Kayla Dawn Powell, 37, of Hurricane, and Donald James Duty, 52, of Huntington, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in the same 53-count indictment naming Grant. Powell admitted to participating in the distribution of methamphetamine and fentanyl with others from June 2023 through November 2023. During that period, Powell received quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl from a source or from others at the source’s direction in the Huntington area that she distributed to various customers in the Southern District of West Virginia.

On June 6, 2023, Powell sold approximately 3.6 grams of fentanyl to a confidential informant for $250 in a vehicle parked at a business on MacCorkle Avenue in St. Albans. Powell admitted to the transaction and to arranging it with the confidential informant beforehand.

On November 15, 2023, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Duty’s Jackson Avenue residence in Huntington and seized 19 firearms, approximately 73 grams of suspected fentanyl and approximately 108 grams of suspected methamphetamine. Duty admitted that he intended to distribute the seized fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Powell is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2024, and Duty is scheduled to be sentenced on May 20, 2024. Each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. MDENT is composed of the Charleston Police Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Nitro Police Department, the St. Albans Police Department and the South Charleston Police Department.

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