Long-Term FBI Investigation Shutters Large Akron to West Virginia Drug Trafficking Organization
21 Total Individuals Indicted for Roles in Drug Conspiracy
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced multiple indictments today charging numerous individuals with participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin which operated between Akron, Ohio and the Southern District of West Virginia. The indictments and subsequent arrests resulted from an extensive, joint investigation spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Other agencies which participated and assisted in the investigation include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Ona Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force, the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Unit, the United States Marshals Service, the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Charleston Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Akron, Ohio Police Department, and the Brecksville, Ohio Police Department. Also included in the charges is information uncovered in a separate investigation conducted by the Huntington Police Department. The investigation resulted in two indictments charging a total of 21 individuals for their roles in distributing large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin, primarily in Cabell, Putnam, and Kanawha Counties in the Southern District of West Virginia.
“This case demonstrates the incredible commitment of federal, state and local law enforcement to work collaboratively and cooperatively across jurisdictional boundaries to shut down the pipeline of drugs flowing into West Virginia,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “My Office has spearheaded many, many takedowns but this one is particular important. Indictments by a West Virginia grand jury are being executed today in Akron and West Virginia. Search warrants were executed and, trust me, this is dangerous work. I always pray for the safety of law enforcement involved in the arrests. Those arrested in Akron will be brought to West Virginia and prosecuted in West Virginia. When I took my oath of office nearly two years ago, I did so with the absolute conviction that I would do all in my power to root out the drug dealers, drug thugs and poison peddlers that have caused so much devastation, despair and death. As a son of West Virginia, my heart aches for the effects of this scourge on our people, our families and our children. I am impassioned to end this scourge. We will continue to do everything within our power and use every available resource to disrupt the supply of deadly drugs coming into our state, prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law, and protect the people of West Virginia.”
"Drug dealers are trying to take advantage of the addiction problem this community and the entire state faces," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones. "They have chosen West Virginia to do business, but I’m here to tell them today, to take their business elsewhere. We and our law enforcement partners will use every tool we have to stop criminals from exploiting the vulnerable people."
This long-term investigation uncovered an ongoing scheme to transport large quantities of crystal methamphetamine and heroin from Akron to the Southern District of West Virginia. The drugs were then distributed across the Southern District, primarily in Cabell, Putnam, and Kanawha Counties. During the investigation, agents were able to purchase large quantities of methamphetamine and seize large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin. It is believed that the shuttering of this drug conspiracy will continue to address and curtail the availability of highly pure methamphetamine and heroin in the Southern District.
The investigation was a collaborative effort between numerous federal, state and local law enforcement partners and today’s actions would not have been possible without the seamless collaboration of all involved agencies. The investigation is ongoing and could result in additional federal and state charges in the future.
Please Note: An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.