Crime

Lexington man could get 20 years in prison for working with drug gang

A Lexington man has pleaded guilty in West Virginia to federal charges that he conspired to distribute cocaine and heroin, and to deliver cash as a courier for a drug gang.

Leroy Lumpkin Wilson, 33, entered the plea Monday in Huntington, W.Va., admitting that he worked as a courier for Mark Silverburg, a man who supplied drugs to Kenneth Newman, also known as "K-Kutta."

Silverburg, Kenneth Newman, his brother George Newman, and seven other defendants already have pleaded guilty to various charges stemming from a yearlong federal investigation into illegal drug operations in West Virginia.

Federal prosecutors charged that Wilson transported roughly $6,800 from Kenneth Newman's home in Huntington to Silverburg in Kentucky on Jan. 8, 2014. The next day, authorities charged, Silverburg told Wilson to drive from Lexington back to Newman's home in Huntington, using a car that contained bags of cocaine. The drugs, totaling six to nine ounces, were placed in the car's trunk by Silverburg, according to the charges. Newman removed the drugs in Huntington, the charges say.

Authorities charged that Wilson also performed construction work on George Newman's property, receiving cash and heroin in payment.

Federal officials allege that members of the Newman group were responsible for distributing oxycodone, crack cocaine, marijuana, morphine and MDMA, a drug known on the street as ecstasy or "Molly."

Wilson could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million for his role in the operation.

He is scheduled for sentencing in February.

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