33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties
CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Thirteen were arrested this week after a federal grand jury returned indictments against 33 individuals from Florida, Mississippi, Maryland, and West Virginia on charges involving methamphetamine distribution and firearms, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.
“This is yet another example of the team effort to combat dangerous drugs coming into our state from other states to be distributed by our residents to poison our communities. We will not tolerate any drug traffickers in our communities, nor will we tolerate them setting up shop near playgrounds, schools, and our children. The message is getting louder and louder that if you choose to sell drugs in our district, you will be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law,” said Powell.
Nineteen individuals were named in a 40-count indictment, alleging a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Harrison County and elsewhere from the fall of 2017 to September 2018. Those indicted are:
• Kedric Pearson, age 34, of Waynesboro, Mississippi
• Paul Casto, age 55, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• Stormy Hawkins, age 25, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• William Koch, age 33, of Anmore, West Virginia
• Jacob Wright, age 36, of West Union, West Virginia
• Donald Hickman, Jr., age 43, of Reynoldsville, West Virginia
• Cody Boley, age 24, of Wallace, West Virginia
• Byron Higginbotham, age 36, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• Jodi Denkenberger, age 28, of Mount Claire, West Virginia
• Erica Herron, age 37, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• David Weaver, age 33, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• Taylor Espinoza, age 21, of Bridgeport, West Virginia
• Stephen Richards, age 40, of Fairmont, West Virginia
• Solomon Cottrill, age 32, of Salem, West Virginia
• Nathan Crites, age 34, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• Russell Clark, age 64, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• Faith Martin, age 20, of Shinnston, West Virginia
• Jesse Pack, age 23, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• Justin Jackson, age 40, of Baltimore, Maryland
In a separate case, a federal grand jury indicted 14 individuals on methamphetamine charges. The men and women are accused of conspiring with one another to distribute methamphetamine in Harrison County and elsewhere from October 2017 to September 2018. Those charged in the 27-count indictment are:
• Juwan Floyd, age 26, of Tallahassee, Florida
• Kareem Sampson, age 29, of Morgantown, West Virginia
• Ramiro Pimentel Jr., age 31, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• Kelly Wright, age 36, of West Union, West Virginia
• Teressa Hall, age 33, of Bristol, West Virginia
• Nicholle Knotts, age 24, of Philippi, West Virginia
• Chance Ward, age 19, of Buckhannon, West Virginia
• Ashley Wagner, age 27, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• Brittany Miles, age 28, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
• Brandon Mays, age 30, of Fairmont, West Virginia
• Joshua Langbien, age 28, of Buckhannon, West Virginia
• Ann Marie Stankus, age 24, of Buckhannon, West Virginia
• Rodney Rowan, age 23, of Buckhannon, West Virginia
• Chris Conley, age 35, of Clarksburg, West Virginia
The government is also seeking forfeiture of four vehicles, a house on Winding Way in Clarksburg, and more than $33,000 seized as a part of the investigation. Law enforcement has also seized 15 firearms.
Of the 33 defendants, 25 were detained. Those wanted are:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda E. Wesley is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Greater Harrison Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated. The United States Marshal Service assisted in the arrests.
The investigation was funded in part by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.