CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Federal authorities identified 13 "A-list" offenders from this year's Drug Market Intervention initiative targeting Charleston's West Side.
All of the men have been charged with drug offenses and none will receive the second chance offered to their counterparts on the U.S. Attorney's "B-list" of offenders. Charges against the 13 men have already been filed in U.S. District Court.
Some have only recently been indicted, while a handful has plea hearings scheduled.
The 13 were identified as: Antoine Maurice Brown, 30, of Charleston, conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine; Jamaal D. Davis, 22, of Charleston, conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine; Deandre D. Coleman, 22, of Charleston, conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine; Derrick Dujuan Greathouse, 36, of Columbus, Ohio, possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute; Matt Quinn, 22, of Charleston, possession of heroin with intent to deliver; Willie Slocum Jr., 34, of Detroit, conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin; Clifton Belcher, 24, of Charleston, distribution of crack cocaine; Brandon "Fresh" Solomon, 19, of Charleston, distribution of heroin; Donnell Dwayne Diego, 33, of Charleston, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute; William Richmond, 31, of Charleston, distribution of crack cocaine; Kermit Ware III, 24, of Charleston, using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime; Braheem Griffin, 19, of Charleston, felon in possession of a firearm; Curtis Watkins, 24, of Charleston, felon in possession of a firearm.
Their names and photographs lined the walls Thursday evening at the staged intervention at New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church on First Avenue where federal and local authorities met with the five individuals on the "B-list" of offenders.
Those five, made up of four men and one woman, were non-violent offenders who had been involved in drug activity. The community was willing to give those five a second, but last, chance to turn their lives around.
Their names were not released, as they have not been prosecuted.
The initiative, which is in its second year, is similar to one that operated with some success in Huntington. The program ran in Huntington's Fairfield neighborhood, which was once the site of 60 percent of the city's drug crimes. That number dropped to 10 percent after the initiative's run, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
The program was first implemented in High Point, N.C. Authorities identified the crime-laden areas, identified the drug dealers and then built cases against them. Then the cases were broken down, classifying the most violent offenders as "A-listers" and the non-violent offenders as "B-listers."
Those non-violent offenders then are called in for an "intervention" and to hear from law enforcement and the community. They are offered opportunities to get treatment for addiction if that is an issue and also help with employment and education.
If they fail at the attempt at rehabilitation they are prosecuted with the "A-listers," whose cases already are in the works.