3 enter guilty pleas to federal drug charges

March 22, 2019 GMT

HUNTINGTON — Three men accused of crimes related to illegal drug distribution entered guilty pleas in federal court Tuesday, according to U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart.

Rudolph Donnell Willis, 45, from Detroit, Michigan, entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute heroin. He is accused of receiving heroin and delivering it to a residence in the 1700 block of Buffington Avenue in Huntington on multiple occasions between March 2015 and June 2015 and later collecting money from sales.

He was arrested following a search warrant execution on the residence in June 2015. During the search, Willis and other individuals in the residence were arrested and officers seized heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.

Willis faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced June 24.

Ellis Simmons Jr., 49, from Detroit, Michigan, entered guilty pleas to possession with intent to distribute heroin and prohibited possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Simmons was arrested after the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force executed a search warrant Sept. 14, 2015, in the 2300 block of Lincoln Avenue. Approximately 25 grams of heroin and a handgun were seized from the residence. Simmons was previously convicted of multiple felony offenses and admitted to possessing the gun. Simmons also admitted he and others used the residence to distribute heroin during September 2015.

Simmons faces up to 30 years in federal prison when he is sentenced July 8.

Carl Dillow III, 29, of Huntington, entered a guilty plea to an indictment charging him with distribution of fentanyl. Dillow admitted he exchanged fentanyl for $70 with a confidential informant May 22, 2017, at a Huntington apartment building.

Dillow faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced July 8.

Investigations were conducted by the Huntington FBI Task Force and the Huntington Police Department. All hearings were held before U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecution for Willis and Simmons. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor handled the prosecution for Dillow.

These cases are being prosecuted as part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.), a focused enforcement effort that seeks to reduce the supply of synthetic opioids in high impact areas.