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Task force leads to 13 arrests, warrants out for 5 others

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – A task force made up of multiple police agencies has arrested 13 suspects for indictments of felony drug offenses after an operation that was led by the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West, according to Wayne County Sheriff Rick Thompson.

The agencies on the task force include the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police, and DEA. The Wayne County Sheriff Drug Enforcement Unit also assisted in some cases., and the US Marshals Cuffed Task Force, State Police, and Wayne County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the arrests.

The taskforce is still searching for the following individuals and has warrants for their arrests.

  • Jason Thompson of Ashland
  • Amanda Bessing of Wayne
  • Shane McCoy of Wayne
  • Cory Maynard of Fort Gay
  • Cody Johnson of Fort Gay
L-R: Jason Thompson, Amanda Bessing, Shane McCoy, Cory Maynard and Cody Johnson

Those who have been arrested include:

  • William Allen, arrested at his home following a search warrant, in which officers seized heroin, methamphetamine and firearms.
  • Mary Pertee of Fort Gay and Joseph Melbar of Wayne, who turned themselves in on the felony indictments.
  • Lori Mayhon, Thomas Bryant, Mark ‘Brandon’ Maynard, David Adkins, Derek Perry, William Kelly, and Donna Followay, as well as Keith Pauley and Christopher Mills who were both already incarcerated at the Western Regional Jail, all of the Wayne and East Lynn area, have been arrested on felony drug indictments.
  • Ronnie Frye II was arrested in Ohio.
  • James Lester, who was arrested for a 1st Degree Sexual Assault Circuit Court capias.

Sheriff Thompson said that this was a lengthy investigation and that he appreciates the hard work of all agencies involved.

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