Associated Press Published

Feds Announce Major Drug Bust, Arrests In West Virginia

Law enforcement officers stand behind a podium announcing the largest drug bust in the state of West Virginia
A joint investigation led by the DEA and FBI has resulted in the largest methamphetamine seizure in #WV history. The announcement was made by Will Thompson, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, during a press conference Thursday, March 23rd, 2023
DEA Facebook page

A federal drug trafficking investigation in West Virginia has resulted in charges against 54 people and the seizure of more than 200 pounds (91 kilograms) of methamphetamine, authorities said Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said law enforcement also seized lesser amounts of cocaine and fentanyl along with 18 firearms and $747,000 in cash.

“The takedown of this drug trafficking organization stopped a record amount of methamphetamine, as well as other dangerous drugs, from reaching our communities and causing harm,” Thompson said. “This investigation demonstrates that we will use all of our resources, including new and innovative investigative techniques, against those who target our communities with this poison. Our law enforcement partners worked tirelessly to dismantle this organization and obtain these indictments, and I commend their outstanding work and dedication.”

Thompson said 30 of the suspects were indicted by a federal grand jury and the others are charged in state criminal complaints. Most of the suspects in the federal cases are Charleston residents. Two are from Detroit and one is from Waynesboro, Virginia.

Thompson called it the largest seizure of methamphetamine ever in West Virginia.

The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The program 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. OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.