OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist
January 10, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Grand Jury Indicts Four Individuals
WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA - Four individuals were named in an Indictment returned on December 6, 2011, by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Wheeling, West Virginia.
United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that:
MARCELINO GAITAN-WALTER, age 27, of Newell, West Virginia; an individual known as “UNI,” of Newell; GARY EDWARDS, age 28, of Chester, West Virginia; and, GREGORY A. VIRDEN, JR., age 21, of Chester were named in a 16-count Indictment.
Count One alleges that GAITAN-WALTER, “UNI,” EDWARDS and VIRDEN conspired to distribute cocaine in Hancock County and elsewhere.
GAITAN-WALTER is also named in nine counts charging him with the distribution of cocaine on January 19, 2011; January 22, 2011; January 26, 2011; January 27, 2011; February 1, 2011; February 7, 2011; February 21, 2011; February 24, 2011; and, April 12, 2011, in Hancock County and one count of interstate travel from Youngstown, Ohio, to Newell, West Virginia, with the intent to distribute cocaine.
“UNI” is also named in one count charging him with the distribution of cocaine on January 19, 2011, in Hancock County.
EDWARDS is also named in two counts of illegal use of a telephone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine on February 7, 2011, and February 28, 2011; and two counts of distribution of cocaine on February 7, 2011, and February 28, 2011, in Hancock County.
VIRDEN is also named in three counts of distribution of cocaine on February 7, 2011, February 16, 2011; and February 28, 2011, in Hancock County.
GAITAN-WALTER and VIRDEN were arrested on January 5, 2012, and appeared before United States Magistrate Judge James E. Seibert. GAITAN-WALTER was detained pending a detention hearing and VIRDEN was released pending an arraignment hearing.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000 on the conspiracy and distribution charges; 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on the interstate travel charge; and, 4 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on the illegal use a telephone charges.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr and was investigated by the West Virginia State Police-Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
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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