Nearly 100 arrested in drug sweep in Fayette County


12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 UPDATE:  An investigation into a multi-state drug trafficking organization has led to the arrest of 94 people.  Operation Mountaineer Highway has been under way for more than a year.

According to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, Mike Stuart, the organization stretched from South Carolina, through West Virginia, to New Jersey.  Around 92 arrests were made on the federal, state and local levels.  There were 38 people charged in federal and state court and an additional 54 people charged locally in Fayette County.

“Today we are taking further steps to tackle the drug crisis which is especially hurting the people of West Virginia,” state U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session regarding Operation Mountaineer Highway. “President Trump has made ending this crisis a top priority for this administration and under his leadership the Department of Justice has taken historic new steps to put drug traffickers in jail.”

Among those who were charged there were 12 who are listed on four federal indictments in the Southern District of West Virginia.  The charges include Conspiracy to Distribute, Possession with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Heroin and Fentanyl, Methamphetamine, Cocaine and Oxycodone.  There were two people who are charged with Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.  There are 26 others who are facing charges in West Virginia.

During the arrests, law enforcement officers recovered more than 1,000 oxycodone pills, more than 600 grams of heroin/fentanyl and almost one kilo of methamphetamine.  There was also more than $360,000 and 65 guns that were seized.  

U.S. Attorney Stuart called the operation a take back rather than a raid.  He said that is because they are taking back the community from drug dealers.

“This is an important day for the people of southern West Virginia.  As a result of the remarkable work of multiple law enforcement agencies, a significant drug trafficking organization has been shut down.”

Around 100 law enforcement officers participated in the operation.  They began making arrests as early as 6 a.m. on Thursday.

Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley released a list of all those who were arrested as a part of the local drug sweep.  The list did not include those who were arrested on federal charges.  An additional 20 people were still to be arrested.  Their names have not been released at this time.

Here is the list of those who were arrested:

New Haven district:

  • Jennifer Hamrick
  • Levi Sizemore
  • Deshaylin McGraw

Valley District:

  • Traci Luikart
  • Louie Craze
  • Tabitha Roat
  • Patrick Manley
  • Calvin Cottrell
  • Freddie Myers
  • Charity Johnson
  • William Oiler
  • Jennifer Kicklighter
  • Ronald Terrell Jr.
  • Gabrielle Ferguson
  • Jessica Smith

Plateau District:

  • Samuel Martin
  • Curtis Randall
  • William Fitzwater
  • Harold Blake IV
  • Josh Fletcher
  • Tommy McCutcheon
  • James Nady
  • Myrel Gibson
  • Javonne Staunton-Bailey
  • Stacy Davis
  • Paula Settle
  • Raymond Shockey
  • Leslie Shockey
  • Jason Stanley
  • Ester Kelly
  • Brandon Smith
  • Dana Hanson
  • Richard Rhodes

Already in jail:

  • Clarissa Crist
  • Trevor Pate
  • Mike Payne

ORIGINAL STORY: A major crack down on the drug trade in southern West Virginia was held on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018.  Federal, state and local agencies teamed up to take down dealers in Fayette and Nicholas Counties.

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart is holding a news conference at the Oak Hill Police Department at around 11:30 a.m.  

Sources within the Law Enforcement community said there were around 34 people arrested as of 9:30 a.m. and more are likely to come.

The agencies involved in the drug round-up included the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Marshals Service, the National Park Service, the West Virginia National Guard, West Virginia State Police, the sheriff’s departments in Fayette and Nicholas Counties as well as police departments in Fayetteville, Oak Hill and Summersville.

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