Project Parkersburg Update: Final Four Defendants Plead Guilty to Role in Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The last four Project Parkersburg defendants pled guilty to federal drug charges, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Aurelius Edmonds 37, of Vienna, and Terrence McGuirk, 50 of Parkersburg, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. Antoine Terry, 37, of Parkersburg, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Amanda Atkinson, 43, of Parkersburg, pled guilty to using a cellular telephone to facilitate drug trafficking offenses. Edmonds, McGuirk, and Terry admitted that they had agreed together to purchase methamphetamine and cocaine from a source of supply in Phoenix, Arizona in August 2018. Edmonds traveled to Phoenix to purchase the drugs and make arrangements with Todd Land and Troy Pastorino to ship them to Dayton, Ohio where he, Terry, and McGuirk would take possession of the shipment.
Police learned of the deal and intercepted the shipment in a traffic stop of Troy Pastorino in Dayton, Ohio on September 19, 2018. Edmonds, Terry, and Land were arrested at a night club where they were awaiting word from Pastorino that the shipment was ready for pickup. McGuirk was arrested in his nearby hotel room. The shipment contained 121 pounds of ICE methamphetamine and 6 kilograms of cocaine. McGuirk admitted his intent to distribute his share of the methamphetamine in and around Parkersburg. Edmonds and Terry admitted their intent to distribute the cocaine in Ohio and return to Parkersburg with the proceeds.
Atkinson admitted that on September 18, 2018, Edmonds called her from Dayton and directed her to retrieve drugs from a stash house on Liberty Street in Parkersburg and deliver them to McGuirk. Police observed her travel from Liberty Street to meet McGuirk at a convenience store in Parkersburg. On September 20, 2018, federal agents and officers with the Parkersburg Police Department executed a search warrant at the Liberty Street residence and seized approximately 225 grams of heroin and 478 grams of fentanyl.
“An enormous amount of deadly drugs were seized as a result of Project Parkersburg,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “A drug trafficking organization has been dismantled and all of the federal defendants now stand convicted. Project Parkersburg significantly reduced the availability of meth in Parkersburg and the surrounding area and, no doubt, saved the lives of many, many potential victims. I want to thank the remarkable work of my team including AUSA Josh Hanks and others, as well as the FBI, the Parkersburg Police Department, the Dayton, Ohio Police Department, and the Parkersburg Narcotics and Violent Crime Task Force. Jobs well done by all.”
Edmonds, McGuirk, Terry, and Atkinson are being prosecuted as part of Project Parkersburg – a major takedown and dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing methamphetamine and heroin. Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, the Parkersburg Police Department, the Dayton Ohio Police Department, and the Parkersburg Narcotics and Violent Crime Task Force. The long-term, joint investigation resulted in at least 29 individuals being charged in federal and state court, along with the seizure of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, several firearms, and more than $80,000 cash.
Edmond and McGuirk face 10 years to life, and Terry faces five to forty years in federal prison when they are sentenced on June 10, 2020. Atkinson faces up to four years in prison when she is sentenced on June 17, 2020.
United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the plea hearings. Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua Hanks and Jeremy Wolfe are handling the prosecution.