CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – Two men have been found guilty of a drug conspiracy that stretched from Detroit, Michigan to Morgantown and involved selling meth, cocaine and fentanyl, announced United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld.
According to the announcement, former West Virginia University basketball player Aaric Murray, 33, of Morgantown, and Richard Kirkland Johnson, 25, of Detroit, were found guilty by a federal jury of one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances”; one count of “Aiding and Abetting the Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base”; and one count of “Aiding and Abetting the Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug Offense.”
Murray was also found guilty of one count of “Aiding and Abetting the Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.”
The crimes occurred from the Spring to November of 2020 in Monongalia County. During the proceedings, Murray was acquitted of two other firearms charges, and Johnson was acquitted of an aiding and abetting charge. Both persons face up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for each of the drug counts, and they also face up to five years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the firearms count.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence will be based upon the seriousness of the defendants’ offenses and any existing prior criminal history.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zelda E. Wesley and Clayton J. Reid prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the Mon Metro Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated. Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh presided.