Drug Trafficking

Prescriptions, Pills, Drugs, Prescription
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Drugmakers would be required to identify the legitimate need for controlled substances to justify their production under a proposed rule intended to rein in the diversion of drugs for illicit purposes.

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced the proposed rule change Tuesday.

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More than 40 people were arrested in Huntington this week on drug and gun charges in a sweeping joint investigation targeting accused interstate drug traffickers in what officials called a "turning point" for the city -- and "in the war against the opiate nightmare." 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we explore attempts to finding solutions to the region’s opioid epidemic, and we hear a story from the Ohio Valley ReSource on the potential impacts of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

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Two West Virginia counties have joined numerous others in suing pharmaceutical companies, drugstores and the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy over the state's opioid crisis.

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More federal prosecutors will be used in a crackdown on gun and violent crime and drug trafficking in one West Virginia city. 

The number of prosecutors focusing on those cases in Huntington will be doubled immediately and tripled within weeks, U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said Thursday. He didn't provide specific numbers.

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Another West Virginia county has been designated as an area with high drug trafficking.

Wood County, West Virginia and fifteen other counties nationwide are being added to the list of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.

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Federal authorities in northern West Virginia have charged 33 people following an investigation into the illicit distribution of the painkiller oxycodone.

According to prosecutors, the 129-count indictment unsealed Thursday alleges that the group from Michigan and West Virginia conspired to operate the trafficking ring.

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Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members in the House of Delegates have considered a number of bills this legislative session that increase the penalties for breaking various laws. At least three of those bills have focused on drug crimes which Republican lawmakers say is in response to the state’s substance abuse epidemic.

Kelli Sobonya
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill increasing penalties for drug traffickers was largely the focus of the House floor session Friday. The bill is part of the House leadership’s plans to crack down on people selling drugs in West Virginia to curb the substance abuse epidemic.

House Bill 2648 would increase the penalties for trafficking or manufacturing a controlled substance while in the presence of a minor, making it a felony. The bill carries a penalty of a three year prison term without the ability to receive parole. 

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A National Weather Service meteorologist called it a "1-in-1,000-year" storm. By the time it was over, 23 West Virginians were dead.

Flooding that ravaged the state in late June was voted the No. 1 news story in 2016 in West Virginia by Associated Press member newspapers and broadcasters.

U.S. Attorney's Office / United States Department of Justice

The top federal prosecutor responsible for the northern district of West Virginia says he will resign at year's end.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld, appointed six years ago by Democratic President Barack Obama, says he'll return to private law practice.

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West Virginia officials say a recent focus on combatting heroin in the state's eastern panhandle is off to a strong start.

The Journal of Martinsburg reports that a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program was launched in Berkeley and Jefferson counties in June.

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Federal authorities say a Bridgeport man has been charged with possessing nearly 600 Oxycodone pills.

The U.S. attorney's office says 26-year-old Suhip E. Ebrahim was arrested Saturday on a charge of possession with intent to distribute Oxycodone.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to participating in a ring that sold heroin and prescription drugs in West Virginia.

Kalif Briggs faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The 33-year-old resident of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg to aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone.

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A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to participating in a ring that sold heroin and prescription drugs in West Virginia.

Raheem Cuffee faces up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2 million. The 31-year-old resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on Friday in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg to aiding and abetting heroin distribution within 1,000 feet of a protected location.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two weeks after President Obama’s visit to West Virginia, aimed at putting the spotlight on substance abuse issues across the country, the state’s leaders are still talking about ways to combat the issue.

At a forum in Martinsburg, Governor Tomblin met with those struggling with the disease and others trying to provide assistance in the Eastern Panhandle.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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Two people have been sentenced on federal charges stemming from a crackdown on prescription drug trafficking in southern West Virginia. 

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says 20-year-old Aree Lumpkins of Princeton received a two-year sentence on Tuesday. Lumpkins pleaded guilty in July to using a telephone to arrange a drug deal.

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Two men have been sentenced for their roles in a multistate drug trafficking operation.

Thirty-two-year-old Juwan Robert Woods of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to seven years and seven months in prison. Twenty-five-year-old Terri Shuttlesworth of Fairmont received a 10-month sentence.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Since 1986, legislators from the Eastern Panhandle have been meeting with their fellow lawmakers from what they call the quad-state region - Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania - to discuss issues as well as accomplishments they share along the interstate 81 corridor. This year, the group focused on drug trafficking and what the four states can do to combat the problem.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

More than three dozen people have been indicted on charges stemming from a multistate heroin trafficking operation.

The 163-count indictment was unsealed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg.

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  A 22-year-old woman faces a prison term and a large fine after her federal conviction on a charge related to a Philadelphia-to-Morgantown drug distribution ring.

The government says Jessie Marie Fox of Mill Creek was convicted in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg on Monday of trafficking in a powerful prescription painkiller.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As law enforcement officials are increasingly turning their attention to the growing problem with heroin in West Virginia, many of them have strong opinions on the legislation that provides greater access to Naloxone, an opioid antagonist that combats the effects of an overdose. That bill, which goes into effect Wednesday, will allow police officers to carry the medicine. But some law enforcement officials believe that increased access enables heroin users.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Liz McCormick reports from a drug summit in Martinsburg where heroin addiction is a serious issue.  And Digital Coordinator Dave Mistich talks with Trey Kay about his new podcast launching May 1 called “Us and Them.” 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

US Senator Shelley Moore Capito hosted a Drug Prevention Summit Monday in Martinsburg. Dozens of community members and lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle came together to discuss drug trafficking in Berkeley County. Heroin addiction is a major problem in the area, and the community is concerned about where to send those who need help.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, in the wake of the shooting deaths of two black men by white police officers, officers of the Charleston Police Department met with local clergy to talk about race relations.  And in Huntington, officials are fighting back against drug trafficking.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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The federal government will provide additional help to two West Virginia counties to reduce drug abuse and drug trafficking.

Berkeley and Harrison counties are among 26 counties and cities in 11 states designated as high intensity drug trafficking areas.

U.S. Attorney's Office

More than a dozen people have been charged with participating in a cocaine trafficking ring in West Virginia.
 
Seven people from West Virginia, three from Florida and three from Maryland are charged in a 73-count indictment issued March 18 by a federal grand jury in Martinsburg.
 

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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The brother of West Virginia's governor faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal drug charge.
 
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says 50-year-old Carl Tomblin of Chapmanville pleaded guilty Tuesday to distribution of oxymorphone. Tomblin's sentencing is set for June 25.
 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill to increase the penalty for transporting narcotics into West Virginia.
 
The bill increases prison time from 1 year or more to up to 15 years. The bill states that individuals convicted of the felony charge may be fined up to $25,000.
 

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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Federal prosecutors say 15 people have been charged with distributing tens of thousands of prescription painkillers in the Ohio Valley area of West Virginia.
 
     U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II announced the unsealing of an 83-count indictment on Monday. It alleges the powerful painkiller oxycodone and other prescription drugs were funneled into West Virginia from northern Ohio and Detroit.
 

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