Huntington Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm, Fentanyl-Involved Crimes

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the illegal straw purchase of firearms and to conspiring to have drugs including fentanyl smuggled into the Western Regional Jail.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Corey Michael Perkins, 33, admitted to picking out four firearms at Jewelry Gold & Pawn in Huntington on June 30, 2020, telling an employee he would send someone to purchase them. Perkins knew he could not purchase the firearms himself because of a prior felony conviction. Perkins instead instructed another person to purchase the four firearms for him, providing that individual with the necessary cash. He further admitted that he aided, abetted, counseled, and induced that person to falsely state and represent on ATF Form 4473 that she was the actual transferee and buyer of the firearms, when in fact Perkins was the actual transferee and buyer of the firearms.

Perkins also admitted that while on home confinement he coordinated with multiple individuals to get drugs into the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville from November to December 2020. Perkins used recorded jail phone calls to arrange for a package containing 228 suboxone strips, 1.4 grams of fentanyl/methamphetamine mixture, and 1 gram of methamphetamine to be transported into the Western Regional Jail. Perkins utilized an inmate and a person who worked at the jail to carry out the scheme. Perkins was aware that the drugs were intended for redistribution in the jail, and that he would receive money.

Perkins is scheduled to be sentenced on August 22, 2022. He pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the illegal straw purchase of firearms, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for that crime. Perkins also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute suboxone, methamphetamine, and fentanyl, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $1 million fine for that offense.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the West Virginia State Police, the Huntington Police Department, and the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation Investigations Unit.

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearings. Assistant United States Attorneys Courtney L. Cremeans and Ryan A. Keefe are prosecuting the cases.

The case was prosecuted as part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS), an enforcement surge that seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 3:22-cr-00056 and 3:21-cr-215.