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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

Betsy C. Jividen
Acting UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

 

February 19, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Four Individuals Arrested on Heroin Charges

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA - Four individuals were arrested on February 4, 2010, on federal arrest warrants stemming from charges contained in a sealed Indictment returned by the Federal Grand Jury sitting in Wheeling, West Virginia, on February 2, 2010.

Acting United States Attorney Betsy C. Jividen announced that WILLIAM RICHARD GORDON, age 40, of New Cumberland, West Virginia; ROBERT LAWRENCE GAMPOLO, age 43, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; NATALIE STEGNER, age 35, of Pittsburgh; and JANELLE COCHRAN, age 19, of New Cumberland, West Virginia, were arrested on charges contained in a six-count Indictment. GORDON, GAMPOLO, STEGNER and COCHRAN were named in Count One of the Indictment alleging that they conspired to distribute heroin from January of 2009 to January 25, 2010, in the Northern District of West Virginia and elsewhere. Counts Two, Three and Four allege that GORDON distributed heroin on August 31, 2009; on December 3, 2009; and on December 7, 2009, in New Cumberland. Count Five alleges that on January 25, 2010, in New Cumberland, during the execution of a federal search warrant GORDON was in possession of firearms, after having previously been convicted of burglary in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, and therefore prohibited from possessing firearms. Count Six alleges that from April 1, 2009, to January 25, 2010, COCHRAN maintained a residence in New Cumberland for the purpose of distributing heroin.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000 on each of Counts One, Two, Three and Four; a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Five; and a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Six. The Indictment also seeks a money judgment in the amount of $50,000 from the defendants and the seizure of the firearms seized during the search warrant on January 25, 2010.

The defendants all appeared before Magistrate Judge James E. Seibert on February 4, 2010. GORDON was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal and GAMPOLO, STEGNER & COCHRAN were released on bond.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randolph J. Bernard. The case was investigated by was investigated by the Hancock/Brooke/Weirton Drug & Violent Crime Task Force; uniformed officers of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and the Pennsylvania State Police. The Hancock/Brooke/Weirton Drug & Violent Crime Task Force consists of officers from the Weirton Police Department, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department, the Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

It should be noted that the charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and that each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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