For Immediate Release
Columbus Man Sentenced to 200 Months in Prison for Running Ohio-to-West Virginia Drug Operation
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Solomon K. Gebretekle, 22, of Columbus, was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 200 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine and heroin in and around Charleston, W.Va.
According to court documents, Gebretekle (also known as Diablo), regularly traveled from Ohio to West Virginia to sell narcotics to drug seekers there. After being arrested on a federal criminal complaint in January 2019, Gebretekle continued to direct the drug operation from jail.
In intercepted jail calls, Gebretekle gave specific instructions to a co-conspirator in order to further his drug business. In one jail call, Gebretekle threatens one of his narcotics customers regarding the explicit consequences he faced if the customer did not pay his drug debt to the defendant.
Gebretekle pleaded guilty in March 2020 to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and more than 100 grams of heroin. He also pleaded guilty to a substantive count of possessing the more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.
Congress sets the maximum statutory sentence. Sentencing of the defendant is determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Roland Herndon, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Watson. Assistant United States Attorney Salvador A. Dominguez is representing the United States in this case, and the Charleston, W. Va. DEA field office assisted in the investigation.