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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Will Thompson Presents 2023 Law Enforcement Awards

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
Fallen Nicholas County Sheriff’s Deputy Also Honored at Ceremony

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Will Thompson honored more than 60 federal, state and local law enforcement professionals today for their outstanding contributions to investigations and cases in the Southern District of West Virginia.

The 2023 Law Enforcement Awards, presented during a ceremony at the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, recognize both invaluable assistance within specific categories of cases and office initiatives as well as overall exemplary service over the past year.

“These are the men and women who keep our communities safe. They represent the ideals of law enforcement,” Thompson said. “Through these awards, we particularly seek to honor collaborative efforts, in the way of joint investigations or partnerships formed to spearhead criminal justice initiatives.”

The annual awards ceremony is held in conjunction with National Police Week, which pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. The names engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial this year include that of Nicholas County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Edward Baker III. On June 3, 2022, Deputy Baker was fatally shot while he and other law enforcement officers responded to a domestic disturbance in the Birch River area.

Thompson led a moment of silence for Deputy Baker and other fallen law enforcement officers during the ceremony.

Law enforcement officers and organizations were honored in the following categories:

Category: Project Safe Childhood

Project Safe Childhood (PSC) is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched by the Department of Justice in 2006. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

Outstanding PSC Case: U.S. v. Todd Christopher Roatsey (2:21-cr-235)

  • Special Agent Terrance Taylor, HSI
  • Computer Forensic Analyst Leland “Fred” Pickering, HSI
  • Forensic Interview Specialist Candice Cooper, HSI
  • Criminal Analyst Chris Powell, HSI
  • Trooper First Class Michelle R. Shaffer, West Virginia State Police

Roatsey, a Kanawha County elementary school counselor, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempted production of child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor. Roatsey used the Snapchat instant messaging application to target multiple minor females. Roatsey knew several of the minor females through his position as a counselor at Pinch Elementary School. Roatsey also obstructed justice by deleting the Snapchat account he used to engage in these activities, after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed a search warrant at his residence and seized numerous electronic devices found to contain child pornography.

Category: White Collar Crime

Outstanding White Collar Crime Case: U.S. v. Kenneth Emeni et al. (3:21-cr-68)

  • Sergeant Bradford S. Burner, West Virginia State Police
  • Detective Jeremy Thompson, South Charleston Police Dept. (Task Force Officer)
  • Postal Inspector Seth Summers, U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Nine defendants were convicted in connection with multiple internet-based fraud schemes that operated in the Huntington area and defrauded at least 200 victims from across the country, many of them elderly, of at least $2.5 million. Fraud scheme participants created false personas to establish romantic, friendship or business relationships with unwitting individuals via email, text messaging, online dating websites and social media platforms. The victims were persuaded to send money for a variety of false and fraudulent reasons for the benefit of the false personas. The defrauded funds were laundered for distribution among the defendants and others. Some of the defrauded funds were transferred overseas.

Category: Outstanding Drug Trafficking Cases

U.S. v. Scott Midkiff et al. (3:21-cr-109)

  • Senior Supervisory Resident Agent Allen Davis II, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Special Agent Georgia Marshall, FBI
  • Special Agent Adam D. Bennett, FBI
  • Special Agent Letisha Hartsough, FBI (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Intelligence Analyst/Operational Support Technician Angie Botzet, FBI
  • Detective Jared Cremeans, Cabell County Sheriff’s Office (TFO)
  • Deputy Andrew Richmond, Cabell County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Russ Blank, Cabell County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy C.J. Stewart Cabell County Sheriff’s Office
  • Director Samuel L. Stowasser II, Cabell County Sheriff’s Office
  • HCO Matthew Denning, Cabell County Sheriff’s Office
  • Officer Evan Wilson, Hurricane Police Department (TFO)
  • Officer Nate Campbell, Marshall University Police Department (TFO)
  • Officer Matt Napier, Marshall University Police Department
  • Officer Ethan Smith, Marshall University Police Department
  • First Sergeant Lacy J. Deskins, West Virginia State Police
  • Sergeant Sally Hatten, West Virginia State Police
  • Corporal Kristy Adkins, West Virginia State Police
  • Trooper Nate Rodgers, West Virginia State Police


All 19 defendants in this case were convicted and sentenced to prison for their roles in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that distributed large amounts of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, cocaine base (also known as “crack”), oxycodone, and heroin in the Huntington area. Law enforcement officers seized more than 47 pounds of fentanyl, 6.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 4.5 pounds of cocaine and 2 pounds of heroin as well as 14 firearms and more than $335,000 in cash. Nine defendants were sentenced to five years or more in prison, including four who were sentenced to prison terms of 10 years or more.

U.S. v. Jermaine Williams et al. (2:21-cr-32)

  • Special Agent Charles Tippett, Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Special Agent Lance Lehnhoff, DEA
  • Special Agent Anthony Brumfield, DEA
  • Intel Research Specialist James Summers, DEA          
  • Intel Research Specialist Kristi Rhoda, DEA
  • Special Agent Scott M. Smith, DEA (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Resident Agent in Charge David Bullard, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • Deputy U.S. Marshal Marc Loretta, U.S. Marshals Service
  • Corporal Adam Aldridge, Charleston Police Department
  • Lt. Ryan Higginbotham, Charleston Police Department
  • Corporal Jonathan Weaver, Charleston Police Department (TFO)
  • Corporal Anthony Thomas, Charleston Police Department (TFO)
  • Sergeant Jason Webb, Charleston Police Department
  • Sergeant D.M. McMillan, West Virginia State Police


This investigation, dubbed “Woo Boyz,” disrupted a DTO with ties to the Bloods and Gangster Disciples criminal gangs. During the course of the nearly year-long investigation, law enforcement seized approximately 15 pounds of methamphetamine, more than $375,000 in cash, and 45 firearms including an IMI Industries Uzi fully automatic 9mm submachine gun. Members of this DTO were involved in or suspected of numerous shootings around Charleston but particularly on the West Side.  A dozen defendants were sentenced to prison terms of between two years and 20 years and one month after pleading guilty to various felony offenses.

U.S. v. Carlo Ramsey et al. (2:21-cr-163)

  • Detective Jonathan Casto, Williamstown Police Department
  • Special Agent Matthew Yount, DEA

The case resulted from a nearly year-long investigation dubbed “Long Time Coming.” Six defendants were convicted and sentenced to prison for their roles in a DTO responsible for distributing methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine and marijuana in Parkersburg and elsewhere. The investigation also yielded more than a dozen arrests on state criminal complaints in Wood County.

U.S. v. Ramon David Alston et al. (2:21-cr-172)

  • Special Agent Jennifer King, FBI
  • Special Agent John Reese, FBI
  • Special Agent Genevieve Baushke, FBI
  • Forfeiture Investigator Dean Lauffer, FBI
  • Intelligence Analyst Sarah Cole, FBI
  • Staff Operations Rose Chestnut, FBI
  • Resident Agent in Charge David Bullard, ATF
  • Sergeant Jason Webb, Charleston Police Department
  • Sergeant Jared Austin, St. Albans Police Department
  • Detective Justin Raynes, Nitro Police Department
  • Corporal Owen Morris, Charleston Police Department (TFO)
  • Detective P. J. Hodge, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office (TFO)
  • Corporal Seth Johnson, Charleston Police Department (TFO)
  • Corporal Wes Daniels, Charleston Police Department (TFO)
  • Lieutenant Ryan Higginbotham, Charleston Police Department
  • Corporal Adam Aldridge, Charleston Police Department
  • Corporal Justin Jones, Charleston Police Department
  • Detective Nigel Waller, Charleston Police Department
  • Detective Dakota Dennison, South Charleston Police Department
  • Detective David Harvey, South Charleston Police Department


This case resulted from an investigation that dismantled a large-volume DTO that operated primarily in the Charleston, Rand, and St. Albans areas of Kanawha County from March 2019 to September 2021. The DTO distributed more than 160 pounds of methamphetamine as well as quantities of fentanyl and other drugs. Law enforcement officers seized more than 12.3 pounds of methamphetamine, approximately 34 firearms, more than $86,000 in cash, and several vehicles including three motorcycles. The investigation also prevented a fatal drug overdose in St. Albans and several violent incidents, including a plan by four of the defendants to murder an individual on Charleston’s West Side on July 4, 2021. All 17 individuals indicted in the case were convicted.

Category: Project Safe Neighborhoods

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Outstanding Violent Crime Case: U.S. v. Kymoni Davis (3:20-cr-18)

  • Special Agent Sean McNees, ATF
  • Special Agent Jeff Baker, ATF
  • Sergeant Steve Maniskas, Huntington Police Department
  • Sergeant Paul Matovich, Huntington Police Department
  • Detective Adrian Rosario, Huntington Police Department
  • Officer Ernie Blackburn, Huntington Police Department
  • Lieutenant Paul Minigh, Huntington Police Department
  • Lieutenant Eddie Pritchard, Huntington Police Department
  • Captain Stephen Compton, Huntington Police Department
  • Corporal Kyle Quinn, Huntington Police Department


Davis was sentenced to eight years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, after admitted to shooting into a Huntington club on January 1, 2020.

Davis had been ejected from the Kulture Hookah Bar during a New Year’s Eve party prior to midnight. Davis returned with a 9mm pistol and fired through the front door before fleeing the scene. Seven individuals were injured in the shooting. Surveillance video captured the shooting, and along with statements from witnesses helped to identify Davis. Spent casings at the scene collected by law enforcement officers were analyzed by the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, or NIBIN, and determined to match with a firearm seized by Charleston Police officers in an unrelated investigation. Davis was arrested in the Detroit area several months later and returned to West Virginia.

Outstanding Violent Crime Case: U.S. v. Bisheem Jones (5:22-cr-46)

  • Special Agent Jarrod C. Chittum, ATF
  • Special Agent Jeff Goode, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation
  • Special Agent Mark Pritt, IRS-CI


Nineteen individuals were convicted of various felony offenses after participating in a conspiracy led by Jones to traffic over 140 firearms from the Beckley area to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jones and his fellow gun traffickers and other co-conspirators recruited individuals from the Beckley area to straw purchase firearms on his behalf. Jones selected the firearms for these straw purchasers to buy and provided the money to purchase them. The straw purchasers falsely certified on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Federal Firearms Transaction Records Form 4473 that they were the buyers of the firearms when they knew they were purchasing them for Jones and his trafficking conspiracy.

The conspirators took the firearms back to Philadelphia to sell for profit. Of the over 140 firearms trafficked in the conspiracy, approximately 45 have been recovered at crime scenes primarily in Philadelphia. Those have been connected to two homicides, crimes of domestic violence, and other violent offenses.

Category: Drug and Violent Crime Task Force of the Year

FBI Transnational Organized Crime West Task Force

Commander: Acting Senior Supervisory Resident Agent Adam D. Bennett, FBI

This award recognizes outstanding cooperative law enforcement efforts and endeavors that have significant and lasting community impact. This year’s award recognizes the task force’s investigative efforts in U.S. v. Scott Midkiff et al.

The TOC-West Task Force consists of officers with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, the Charleston Police Department, the Beckley Police Department, the Hurricane Police Department and the Marshall University Police Department, with support from the West Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West.

Category: Law Enforcement Officers of the Year

Special Agent Jarrod C. Chittum, ATF

Sergeant Bradford S. Burner, West Virginia State Police

Corporal Jonathan Weaver, Charleston Police Department


This award category recognizes federal, state, and local law enforcement officers whose work consistently stands out in significant cases and honors them for their commitment, dedication, and leadership by example.

About National Police Week and National Peace Officers Memorial Day

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Deputy Baker’s name is among 224 added this year of officers who were killed during 2022. An additional 332 names engraved in 2023 are of officers died in years previous to 2022. They include the names of nine officers with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office killed in the line of duty between February 21, 1900, and October 5, 1933, and a McDowell County correctional officer killed on April 15, 1961. The full Roll Call of officers added to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in 2023 is online:

 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.







Updated May 17, 2023

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