UPDATE: Several charged in drug trafficking organization operating in Kanawha County


(Getty Images)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The US attorney’s office of the Southern District of West Virginia unsealed two indictments Wednesday that resulted in multiple arrests in Kanawha County.

A federal grand jury has returned two indictments charging 16 individuals for their roles in a drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine in Kanawha County.

Charged in a 15-count indictment are: 

  1. Ramon David Alston, 41, of Decatur, Georgia
  2. Jonathan Gregory Bush, 38, of Dunbar, West Virginia
  3. Kelly Cordle, 43, of Kimberly, West Virginia
  4. Scott Edward Hudson, 49 of St. Albans, West Virginia
  5. Jason Robert Oxley, 38, of St. Albans, West Virginia
  6. Leo Antoine Smith, of Cross Lanes, West Virginia
  7. James Edward Bennett III, 30, of Charleston, West Virginia
  8. Treydan Burks, 31, of Charleston, West Virginia
  9. Kaitlyn Brooke Combs, 24, of Charleston, West Virginia
  10. Denise Marie Cottrell, 63, of Charleston, West Virginia.
  11. Brittany Frances Gilbert, 33 of Charleston, West Virginia.
  12. Brian Dangelo Terry, 36 of Charleston, West Virginia.
  13. Douglas Johnathan Wesley, 32, of Charleston, West Virginia.

The indictment charges 12 of the defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Kanawha County from March 2019 to September 2021.  The indictment also charges various drug and gun crimes carried out in connection with the DTO. 

In a separate 10-count indictment, Shane Kelly Fulkerson, 43, of Saint Albans, West Virginia and Timothy Wayne Dodd, 45, of Charleston, West Virginia, are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Kanawha County from March to September 2021.  Additional charges against Fulkerson include distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

During the nearly 18-month-long investigation, law enforcement seized approximately 10 pounds of meth, 40 firearms, more than $80,000 cash, and several vehicles. Several of the vehicles and firearms had been reported stolen.

“There’s been some recent data showing fatal overdoses involving methamphetamine in Kanawha County in the past 6 months of this year,” said Acting US Attorney Lisa Johnston.

“Neighborhoods have suffered along with the victims and the victims’ families. With these indictments and arrests, we believe we brought down a group and engaged in significant criminal activity on the West Side,” said Mike Nordwall, FBI Pittsburgh special agent in charge.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the US Marshals Service, Charleston Police Department, and Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

Johnston says important to note that five of the 16 defendants in the indictments have previously been convicted in various felony offenses, including malicious wounding, first-degree robbery, voluntary manslaughter, unlawful wounding, and various drug offenses.

“The number of offenders, the quantity of drugs seized, and the guns taken off our streets is impressive work, but it does not begin to tell the full story of how this impacts the City of Charleston and our surrounding cities,” said Chief James “Tyke” Hunt of the Charleston Police Department.  

“While sometimes the work of our officers must go unnoticed in order to take part in efforts like the one being championed today, we are thrilled to be able to finally recognize the amazing work of so many,” said Charleston Mayor Amy Schuller Goodwin.

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