Final suspect admits guilt in drug trade

January 30, 2019

HUNTINGTON — A Michigan man on Monday became the final defendant to admit in federal court his role as a drug dealer in a 15-year Huntington-to-Detroit drug pipeline.

Nyanzangusa “Botch” Baldwin, 45, of Michigan, pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to conspiracy to distribute heroin, according to U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart.

As part of his plea, Baldwin admitted Manget Peterson, a leader of the Peterson drug trade operation, had asked him to come to Huntington in August 2017 to distribute heroin from a Huntington hotel. Officers later executed a search warrant at the hotel room and seized approximately 35 grams of heroin.

Baldwin is the last of 15 federally indicted defendants to admit his guilt for his role in the Peterson drug trade operation, which was shut down in April 2018, Stuart said.

“I want to commend the team involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case. An exemplary job was done by all involved,” he said. “The conviction of the 15 defendants indicted in this case dismantled a significant drug trafficking network and substantially advanced our efforts to take back the streets of Huntington.”

During the April 17, 2018, raid, Huntington residents awakened to the sound of helicopters above as 200 local, state and federal law enforcement agents attempted to apprehend nearly 100 individuals with active warrants.

The main focus of Operation Saigon Sunset was 30 members of the Peterson Drug Trade Operation, a Detroit-to-Huntington drug pipeline believed to have been in operation for more than 15 years. The raids have led to the conviction of several individuals in both federal and state courts, including Willie “Chill” and Manget “Money” Peterson, whom police have described as the pipeline’s leaders.

Baldwin faces up to 20 years in federal prison at his May 20 sentencing.

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