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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Thompson and Law Enforcement Officials Announce Major Drug Trafficking Indictment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
Indictment Charges 27 Individuals Across 5 States

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Will Thompson joined with law enforcement officials today to announce an indictment charging 27 individuals for their roles in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl in the Huntington area.

The indictment unsealed today is the result of an eight-month multi-state investigation and charges individuals from Michigan, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The 53-count indictment charges the co-conspirators with distributing methamphetamine and fentanyl transported from Detroit, Michigan, in Huntington and other locations within the Southern District of West Virginia.

Law enforcement officers obtained numerous search warrants in support of the investigation, including several executed this morning along with accompanying arrest warrants. Officers have so far seized approximately 2 pounds of methamphetamine, 2 pounds of fentanyl, 26 firearms and $10,500.

“This case reflects the continuing commitment of this office to target the individuals who threaten our communities with these drugs and the violence that accompanies drug trafficking,” Thompson said. “This case also provides the latest example of the exemplary investigative effort and determined teamwork of our many law enforcement partners.”

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. MDENT is composed of the Charleston Police Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Nitro Police Department, the St. Albans Police Department and the South Charleston Police Department.

“The arrests demonstrate the continuing impact federal, state and local partnerships have on illegal drug trafficking,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “Huntington has been plagued by illegal drugs and fears of violence for too long, and it must be addressed. The FBI will aggressively investigate criminal organizations that target our communities with their drugs and violence and ensure they are held accountable.”

“The Huntington community is safer today with these individuals off of our streets,” said J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Louisville Field Division.  “I am proud of the work done by the dedicated men and women of the DEA and our law enforcement partners to dismantle this violent drug trafficking organization.  We will always make it our mission to deliver the full weight of the justice system against anyone seeking to sow misery and suffering in our communities.”

“Today’s arrests are an example of a combined effort of federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies working together to indict these 27 individuals, who were bringing large amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl to the Huntington area for an extended period of time, and taking these individuals off the street,” said Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle.

Charged in the 53-count federal indictment are: Derrell Cashawn Massey, also known as "Rell" and "Fat Rell," 33, of Detroit, Michigan; Talon Aaron McIntosh, also known as "Trey" and "T," 27, of Detroit, Michigan; Georgia Alice Jackson, 31, of Huntington; Nehmiah Allen-Griggs, also known as "Newski," 22, of Dallas, Georgia; Donald James Duty, 51, of Huntington; Tyrone John Thurmond, also known as "T.Y.," 23, of Detroit, Michigan; Jashawn William Lawson, also known as "Nitty," 22, of Detroit, Michigan; Mario Alonzo Pettway III, also known as "Mike," 23, of Detroit, Michigan; Hakeem Rashad Mack, also known as "Paper," 30, of Detroit, Michigan; Paul Anthony Rucker, 46, of Nitro; Kayla Dawn Powell, 37, of Hurricane; Vernard Antonio Brown, also known as "Bam," 32, of Detroit, Michigan; Tylar Harrison Harless, 25, of Tomahawk, Kentucky; Trevon Eaarle Godfrey, also known as "Trey," 27, of Detroit, Michigan; Christopher Anthony O'Dell, 38, of Hurricane; Gary Diaz, also known as "Poppy," 66, of Nitro; Sharon Teston, aka Angie Marie Cogar, 47, of Nitro; Mark Lawrence Lowe, also known as "Cell," 22, of Detroit, Michigan; Shakur Raekwan Joyce, also known as "Cheeta," 23, of Huntington; Denzil Roger Grant II, 49, of Hurricane; Ladonna Rae Abner, 49, of Nitro; Kyla Smith, also known as "Flaca," 28, of Huntington; Jerry D. Pemberton, 47, of Ironton, Ohio; Thomas Shane Holland, 53, of Salt Rock; Charles Clinton Cordle, 65, of Ashland, Kentucky; Josie Irene Copley, 58, of Flatwoods, Kentucky; and Walter Alvin Cremeans, 56, of Culloden.

Note: An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams and Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Taylor are prosecuting the case.

The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.

 A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:23-cr-180.






Updated November 15, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses