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Takedown dismantles drug network operating in WV

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United States Attorney Mike Stuart today announced the takedown of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing meth, heroin and marijuana in Kanawha and Fayette Counties. Aug. 26, 2020 (WOWK Staff Photo)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – United States Attorney Mike Stuart today announced the takedown of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing meth, heroin and marijuana in Kanawha and Fayette Counties. 

The takedown is the result of a long-term investigation, dubbed “Second Wave,” led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force (CWVDTF). A federal grand jury returned two indictments charging 12 individuals in connection with their roles in the DTO. 

“Meth. Heroin. Marijuana. The takedown of this network of drug dealers is another major victory for the people of West Virginia,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Long-term targets. Long-term problems. A drug trafficking organization that was fueling terrible addiction, pain, chaos and despair is now shut down. The people of Kanawha and Fayette counties are certainly safer as a result of today’s arrests.”

United States Attorney Mike Stuart

Stuart goes on to say, “I commend our many federal, state and local law enforcement partners for their remarkable work in this long-term investigation. I am proud of our law enforcement leadership at every level throughout West Virginia but I want to specifically thank the men and women that serve on the front lines of law enforcement across this great state. Taking down a major drug trafficking organization is difficult and dangerous work. My hat is off to each of you. I pray for your safety each night. Thank you for your commitment to the people of West Virginia and the Rule of Law. This is another great day for the people of West Virginia.”

Charged in a six-count indictment are Jason Michael Terrell, 36, of Mount Carbon; Larry Terrence Martin, 31, of Charleston; Carol Belton, 61, of Montgomery; Steven Matthew Bumpus, 31, of Charleston; Jimmy Lee Coleman, 34, of Gauley Bridge; Roger Jarea Drake, 31, of Charleston; Rashawn Akmed Miller, 36, of Columbus, Ohio; William Lee Patton, 62, of Montgomery; Craig Edward Redman, 41, of Kimberly; Tonya Nichole Simerly, 35, of Montgomery; and Ronald Lee Thomas, III, 28, of Charleston. The indictment charges Terrell, Martin, Belton, Coleman, Drake, Miller, Patton and Redman with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine from July 2019 to August 2020. The indictment further charges Bumpus, Simerly and Thomas with various drug trafficking crimes carried out in connection with the DTO.

In a separate indictment, Gregory Eugene Woods, 43, of St. Albans, was charged with possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine. Two additional defendants, Sammy Joe Fragale, Sr., also known as Joe, and Sammy Joe Fragale, Jr., also known as Bubby, were arrested on a federal criminal complaint for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy.

This is a developing story, and we will continue to update it on, the WOWK 13 News App, and on 13 News on air.

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