Upshur County Sheriff's Department, Federal Authorities Shut Dow - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Upshur County Sheriff's Department, Federal Authorities Shut Down Meth Ring

Posted: Updated:
BUCKHANNON -

The Upshur County Sheriff's Department and federal authorities have shut down another methamphetamine manufacturing ring.

There's been a long history of cooperation with the Upshur County Sheriff's Department and federal authorities.

Members of the Upshur County Sheriff's Department and the office of the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of West Virginia held a news conference on Monday to announce eight residents have been convicted in federal court of meth related charges.

"It shows the method these meth labs weave, and the number of people that get involved with this indictment, its eight individuals spanning 64 counts, so its quite extensive," said Sheriff Virgil Miller.

The meth lab ring investigation took place in the Spring and Summer of 2011. The sheriff's department executed multiple search warrants and made controlled purchases of methamphetamines, and obtained confessions from the eight involved.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld II said the type of meth being manufactured in Upshur County has changed over time. In the past year, authorities have begun seeing the "shake and bake" or one pot method. He said in addition to federal and local law enforcement agencies working together, the community plays a big part as well.

"Alot of cases that are prosecuted in this county that are meth related get started as a result with information provided by members of the community," Ihlenfeld said.

Production and distribution of meth continues to be a big problem in West Virginia, but law enforcement officials said they'll continue to put away those who put poison into our communities.

"It doesn't just affect the people that are using it, it affects everyone around them, and so we think its important to be aggressive in the prosecution of these cases," Ihlenfeld said.

Sheriff Miller said his office will continue to pursue those who cook meth in the county and he has a message for them.

"If you're cooking, we're going to be out there looking for you, we're going to be actively seeking you and your lab and we're going to put you out of business," Miller said.

In addition to these eight convicted, 78 people in the past two years have been prosecuted for meth related or pill charges.

Those eight convicted were:

CHRISTOPHER ARBOGAST, 20, of Tallsmanville entered a plea of guilty to distribution of methamphetamine in Upshur County. Arbogast, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000.

RICHARD T. OLDAKER, 54, of Buckhannon entered a plea of guilty maintaining a drug-involved premise from April of 2011 to September 20, 2011, in Upshur County. Oldaker, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $500,000.

THOMAS ANDREW CARSON, 27, of Buckhannon, entered a plea of guilty to distribution of methamphetamine in Upshur County. Carson, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000.

ALEXIS R. TENNANT, 25, of Buckhannon, entered a plea of guilty possession of pseudoephedrine knowing that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine in Upshur County. Tennant, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

RICHARD A. JARRETT, 42, of Buckhannon, entered a plea of guilty to possession of pseudoephedrine knowing that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine in Upshur County. Jarrett, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

ROGER G. GOODEN, II, 25, of Tallmansville, entered a plea of guilty to possession of pseudoephedrine knowing that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine in Upshur County. Gooden, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

BRITTANY H. ESQUER, 21, of Tallmansville, entered a plea of guilty to one count of possession of pseudoephedrine knowing that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Esquer, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

DONNA J. BEATTY, 46, of Buckhannon, entered a plea of guilty to possession of pseudoephedrine knowing that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Beatty, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.