A Huntington man who received a shipment of heroin in the mail in December 2016 pleaded guilty this week to a federal drug crime, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. David Lee Zirkle, 36, entered his guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute heroin.
On December 9, 2016, officers were notified that a package suspected of containing controlled substances was scheduled for delivery to a residence at 2422 Collis Avenue in Huntington. A West Virginia State Police K-9 officer gave a positive indication that the package contained drugs, and a search warrant was obtained for the package. Law enforcement found approximately 30 grams of heroin inside the package. Investigators then removed the heroin, replaced it with a representative quantity of heroin, and then conducted a delivery of the package utilizing an undercover postal inspector. Zirkle accepted delivery and took possession of the package at the Collis Avenue address. A search warrant was then executed at that residence, and upon entry, officers located Zirkle with the envelope containing the sample of drugs in his hand. Officers also discovered digital scales and cash in the residence.
Zirkle faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on February 5, 2018.
The United States Postal Inspection Service and the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Ona Division, conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
This case was brought as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.