HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit man accused of mailing more than $38,000 worth of heroin to associates in West Virginia has pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge.

Thirty-year-old Zachary Jose Merritt entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Huntington, W. Va. to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. He faces up to 40 years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 18.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Merritt, also known as “Zane,” mailed heroin to associates in Huntington from September 2012 to last June. The heroin was then resold for $125 per gram and drug proceeds to the tune of $38,250 were deposited in Merritt’s bank account, Goodwin said. The money would be deposited in Huntington and immediately withdrawn by Merritt in Detroit, the complaint states.

During the conspiracy, Goodwin said Merritt also provided drugs to a co-conspirator in Huntington who made approximately seven trips to Detroit between the summer of 2012 and June 2013 to obtain heroin and crack cocaine.

The latest charge is Merritt’s fourth felony drug conviction. He was released from prison in June 2012 after being convicted of possessing at least 50 grams of crack cocaine with intent to distribute in Huntington. Prior to that, he was convicted of drug trafficking charges in Detroit in 2001 and 2002.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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