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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Operation Shutdown Corner: Law Enforcement Dismantles Multi-State Methamphetamine Pipeline from Southern California to West Virginia

17 Individuals Indicted as part of Drug Trafficking Organization

Over 200 Law Enforcement Officers from Multiple States Involved in Takedown

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced a major takedown today of drug traffickers resulting in the dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing pounds of methamphetamine from San Diego, California to West Virginia. The indictments and subsequent arrests are the result of a long-term investigation led by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the United States Marshals Service, the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, which is made up of law enforcement officers from the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, the Beckley Police Department and the West Virginia State Police, the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force and the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force.  The operation, dubbed “Operation Shutdown Corner,”  resulted in two indictments charging 17 individuals in the DTO alleged to have distributed methamphetamine and heroin.

“Today’s coordinated takedown as part of Operation Shutdown Corner is a significant achievement in our continued effort to rid West Virginia of the drug traffickers, drug dealers and poison peddlers that have caused so much pain and despair among our people,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “From San Diego to West Virginia, today’s operation shutdown a major drug trafficking organization. Over 200 law enforcement agents from more than five states were involved in this operation without incident and according to plan.  I want to thank the tremendous investigative and law enforcement efforts of all our partners at the federal, state and local levels. Great work. As a result of these indictments and arrests, West Virginia communities and West Virginia families are safer today than they were yesterday. We continue with a sense of urgency to take down and remove those who cause only harm and despair in the interests of greed and making money.”

"Disrupting drug trafficking organizations like this one is a critical part of the FBI's mission. The heroin, meth and guns seized are dangerous and can lead to dangerous consequences," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones. "These arrests should send a message to other groups who think they can do business in West Virginia.  The FBI and our law enforcement partners are pooling all our resources to stop you and the violence that comes with the drug trade you deem as profitable."

The long-term investigation revealed that a stream of packages containing pounds of methamphetamine were being shipped from the San Diego, California area and being received in the Southern District of West Virginia using common carriers, such as the United States Postal Service and the United Parcel Service (UPS).  Several packages were intercepted by law enforcement, and using law enforcement tools, the full nature and scope of the DTO was revealed. The dismantling of the DTO resulted in the seizure of large quantities of controlled substances, illegally possessed firearms, and United States currency, which represents proceeds of the DTO’s illegal operations. It is believed that the shutting down of this DTO will significantly curtail the methamphetamine scourge in Raleigh County and the surrounding area.

The investigation was a collaborative effort between federal, state and local law enforcement partners. Today’s actions would not have been possible without the seamless collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement 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.

 

 

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated September 18, 2019