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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Feb. 27, 2012                   

DRUG MARKET INTERVENTION
UNDERWAY ON CHARLESTON’S WEST SIDE

Offender Call-in Meeting Set for Thursday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster and United States Attorney Booth Goodwin, in collaboration with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and West Side community development organizations today announced the launch of a Drug Market Intervention (DMI) initiative on Charleston’s West Side.

DMI, which was first implemented in High Point, North Carolina, and has been replicated with success in several other cities, including Huntington, West Virginia, is a strategic problem-solving initiative aimed at closing down drug markets that breed crimes of violence and disorder.  As part of the strategy, certain offenders are identified for prosecution. Over the past several months, the Charleston Police Department and other law enforcement entities have conducted undercover operations and completed investigations culminating in federal charges being filed against nine (9) individuals:

  1. Jueron Smith-Bey, 29, also known as “Cash” and “Cash Money” of Charleston;
  2. Darlene Smith, 41, of Charleston;
  3. Michael S. Robbins, also known as Michael Robertson, 62, of Charleston;
  4. Tre’s Davis, also known as Trey Davis, 23, of Charleston;
  5. Marvin Garrett, 31, of Charleston;
  6. Jonathan Cavender, also known as “Tubbs”, 27, of Charleston;
  7. Fred Taylor, 23, of Charleston;
  8. Leon Antonio Smith, 27, of Charleston;
  9. Damian Means, 23, of Charleston.

U. S. Attorney Booth Goodwin stated, “Chief Webster, the Charleston Police Department and the West Side community have my full support in the implementation of the DMI initiative. In partnership, we intend to send a clear message that drug dealing and crimes of violence are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  My office will vigorously prosecute those individuals who continue to do so.”

For other offenders, the strategy calls for a staged intervention where offenders, along with family members and other influentials, meet with law enforcement officials and members of the community. The community intervention is set to take place on Thursday, March 1, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. at the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church located at 1404 1st Avenue on Charleston’s west side.  At that time, a number of lower level, nonviolent offenders will be offered a rare second chance to stop their criminal activity. The community will offer support and resources to those wanting to make a positive change in their lives.  Chief Brent Webster emphasized that the primary goal of the DMI strategy is to change a community. “Our ultimate goal is to improve public safety and quality of life for residents on the west side.” 

Please note: The Fifth Amendment and applicable Federal law gives a criminal defendant a personal right of Indictment by grand jury for Federal crimes punishable by more than one year imprisonment. An Indictment is a formal, written accusation by a grand jury. An Indictment or Information is not proof of guilt, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless they are found guilty.

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