Associated Press Published

Task Force in Northern West Virginia Targets Drug Trafficking


Law enforcement agencies in Northern West Virginia are working together to combat drug trafficking.
     Local, state and federal authorities announced the creation of the Mountain Region Drug & Violent Crime Task Force on Monday during a news conference in Elkins.
     U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II says the task force began work in 2013. But its formation wasn’t announced until Monday due to ongoing investigations.

“Last year, the state set a record of the number of meth labs that were busted by law enforcement. We see a lot of meth. But in this region, we also see a large amount of prescription pain killer abuse,” said Ihlenfeld.

The task force’s work has led to the indictments of nine people on federal drug charges last week. Six people indicted in August 2013 are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to federal drug charges.
     Another investigation led to the conviction of a man accused of stealing prescription painkillers from a pharmacy in Parsons in 2013.