CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced a major takedown that lead to the seizure of enough fentanyl to kill more than the combined populations of Parkersburg, Huntington, and Charleston.
Stuarts says two people from Parkersburg who were arrested as part of Project Parkersburg, a major takedown and dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing methamphetamine and heroin, appeared in federal court on Wednesday, April 4th, 2019.
Jeffrey Hoyler, 56, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, while Nicholas Ryan Easton, 29, was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
According to Stuart, Project Parkersburg has resulted in at least 29 individuals being charged in federal and state court, the seizure of 150 pounds of methamphetamine and, what was originally believed to be 4 pounds of heroin, have been determined to be comprised of nearly 291 grams of fentanyl.
If the fentanyl, in this case, had made it to the streets of the Parkersburg region, nearly 150,000 West Virginians could have died, according to Stuart.
Stuart continued, “This is the largest meth bust in West Virginia history – and Ohio history for that matter where the meth was physically seized. Thanks to the tremendous work of federal, state and local law enforcement in Project Parkersburg, hundreds of pounds of meth, heroin and enough fentanyl to kill more than the combined populations of Parkersburg, Huntington and Charleston were seized before hitting the streets and a large, multi-state drug organization was shut down.”
Hoyler admitted to transporting cash to Phoenix, Arizona at the direction of co-defendant Terrence McGuirk and pooling the money with co-defendants Aurelius Edmonds and Antoine Terry in order to purchase approximately 150 pounds of methamphetamine which was intercepted by the FBI in Dayton, Ohio on September 19th, 2018.
Hoyler faces 10 years to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on July 17th, 2019.
Easton previously pled guilty in December of 2018 where he admitted selling between 50 and 200 grams of methamphetamine.
Hoyler, and Easton were charged with 15 other defendants in a two-count federal indictment in October 2018. Theodore “T.J.” Gibson, Edward Marks, Amy Rake, Troy Pastorino, and Colleen Moyle have pled guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.