Detroit to Morgantown heroin trafficking scheme splintered by arrests, federal indictments
CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Federal indictments were unsealed today charging 14 people with facilitating a Michigan to Morgantown heroin trafficking operation, according to United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II.
A federal grand jury returned three separate indictments alleging that a group of individuals from Detroit traveled to Morgantown to operate a heroin distribution ring in North Central West Virginia. The indictments allege that heroin was repeatedly sold near a variety of protected locations in Monongalia County in 2014 and 2015.
“Today’s operation, highlights the critical role our task forces play in combating heroin and other illegal drug trafficking and the violent criminal enterprises that attempt to take root in our neighborhoods,” said Special Agent in Charge Scott S. Smith of the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office. “Federal penalties for drug trafficking are severe, and the FBI will continue to work with our local, state and Federal partners to stop the flow of illegal drugs and to dismantle the violent criminal enterprises that facilitate the flow.”
Today, many of the defendants were taken into custody during a coordinated, multi-agency arrest operation in West Virginia and Michigan. Those arrested on heroin trafficking charges today include:
• Draylon Eric Beecham, also known as “Wood,” 40, of Detroit, Michigan,
• Keith Antonio Cohens, also known as “Jay,” 34, of Detroit, Michigan,
• James Leon Fisher, also known as “D,” 29, of Detroit, Michigan,
• Craig S. Coffee, also known as “Mack,” 48, of Detroit, Michigan,
• An unidentified individual known as “Mac,” of Detroit, Michigan,
• Michaelo Merone, 30, of Miami, Florida,
• Daniel Ross Sims, 26, of Morgantown, West Virginia,
• Debra Bolden, 45, of Morgantown, West Virginia, and
• Justin Donald Myers, 36, of Morgantown, West Virginia.
Two additional drug trafficking suspects not connected with the aforementioned indictments were identified and arrested during today’s operation and are currently facing state charges.
Several individuals have not yet been located, including:
• Darrin Lawrence Broadnax, also known as “Silk,” 48, of Detroit, Michigan,
• Romelle DeShaun Stevens, also known as “Bishop,” 26, of Detroit, Michigan,
• Jeffrey Allen Motley, also known as “G,” 24, of Detroit, Michigan,
• Robert Tucker, also known as “Diego,” 22, of Detroit, Michigan, and
• Ryan Hayworth, 21, of Mullens, West Virginia.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the aforementioned individuals is encouraged to contact the United States Marshals Service at (304) 623-0486.
Monongalia County, West Virginia Sheriff Al Kisner applauded the “diligence and hard work of each of the investigating agencies involved in today’s operation. The arrests made today are the direct result of the close working relationship that has been forged among local, state, and federal authorities. This investigation sends a clear message to local residents and to those individuals engaged in criminal activity, that we are committed to responding aggressively and intelligently to perceived drug trafficking threats and that we will not allow those who seek to profit from the sale of illegal drugs to takeroot in our neighborhoods.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda Wesley is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The Mon Metro Drug and Violent Crime Task Force is leading the investigation. The Mon Metro Drug Task Force is a collaborative, multi-agency initiative comprised of representatives from the Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Morgantown Police Department, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, the West Virginia University Police Department, the Granville Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.