(WTRF) - Thirty-one residents from Ohio and West Virginia have been indicted on drug distribution charges.
The charges included methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin distribution that spanned multiple states.
A total of 23 West Virginia residents were indicted by a federal grand jury in Wheeling on June 5th, 2018, on charges involving a multi-state drug distribution operation.
The alleged conspiracy involved trafficking crystal meth, also known as 'ice', heroin, and cocaine brought into West Virginia from Columbus. The drugs were believed to be obtained from as far away as Atlanta.
Some of those indicted in West Virginia are also facing weapons charges, involving eight firearms.
“These indictments demonstrate our continued efforts to aggressively prosecute those who consider West Virginia as a viable market to distribute their poison. We are seeing increased trafficking of methamphetamine, which also brings increased violence," said United States Attorney Bill Powell.
In addition, six men and two women from Ohio, who are suspected members or associates of a street gang called the "Elaine Crip Family" were indicted by a federal grand jury in Wheeling on April 3rd, 2018, in connection with the same trafficking of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin into Wetzel and Tyler Counties, as well as into the southern district of West Virginia.
Here is a full list of those indicted in West Virginia:
- Joshua Cathers, 38, Sistersville
- Michael Shawn Hartline, 34, Sistersville
- Rachel A. Cook, 28, Sistersville
- Holly C. Jenkins, 55, New Martinsville
- Justin Richeson "Squash", 34, New Martinsville
- Timothy Lohri, 36, Williamstown
- John M. Talkington, 29, New Martinsville
- Haley Weigle, 24, New Martinsville
- Wilson Longwell, 26, Littleton
- Desiree Morgan, 23, Paden City
- Ronald Morgan, 50, New Martinsville
- Richard Warf, 54, Sistersville
- Charles C. Williamson, 31, Sistersville
- Brea M. Saeger, 27, Sistersville
- Miranda Stewart, 23, Sistersville
- Susan Kotson, 53, New Martinsville
- Alex C. King, 32, New Martinsville
- Amber M. Richeson, 32, New Martinsville
- Boyd Williamson, 36, Middlebourne
- Cynthia L. Henries, 47, New Martinsville
- Todd Jones, 55, New Martinsville
- Randy Peffer, 25, New Martinsville
- Doug William Matthews, 32, New Martinsville
In Ohio, those charged in that indictment with "Conspiracy to Distribute and to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances":
- Rodriquies M. Evans "Dree", 27, Columbus
- Marisa Page, 26, Columbus
- Kenyatta Banks Jr. "Yatta", 28, Canal Winchester
- Matthew Jackson "Matt-Matt", 22, Columbus
- Delkira L. Rodgers, 20, Columbus
- Robert L. Gregory, 36, Columbus
- Cedric L. Douglas, 29, Groveport
- Aaron Callahan, 28, Columbus
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert H. McWilliams, Jr., and Shawn M. Adkins are prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol; Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Marshall County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative; the West Virginia State Police; the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office; the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office; the Sistersville Police Department; the Paden City Police Department; and the New Martinsville Police Department investigated.
The Columbus, Ohio, Police Department Gang Crimes Unit assisted in the case.
The United States Marshal Service assisted in the arrests.
"I want to thank the United States Attorney's Office and the law enforcement officers who participated for an outstanding job. I appreciate their commitment to rid our communities of those that sell drugs. This prosecution will have a dramatic impact on our community," said Timothy Haught, Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney.
"Thanks to our prosecution team, and the incredible efforts of our law enforcement partners, these indictments were returned. The cases are now on the path for a final resolution. Our mission to keep our communities safe remains paramount," said Powell.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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