ELKINS, W.Va. – A major federal, state and local law enforcement effort has resulted in charges against more than 40 people, following a lengthy investigation and subsequent round up, in Barbour and Randolph counties, on Tuesday, federal officials announced.
The nearly three-year investigation, code named “Operation Tarnished Ridge,” was aimed at reducing gun violence and drug trafficking in West Virginia, ATF Special Agent in Charge Shawn Morrow, Louisville Field Division, said.
Twenty-one people are facing federal charges involving drug trafficking and firearms, United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced.
Twenty others, who have not yet been named, are facing state charges, officials said.
Law enforcement conducted an operation Tuesday to arrest those charged in separate indictments handed down in October and November by federal grand juries sitting in Elkins and Clarksburg, Ihlenfeld said.
Those facing federal charges are:
- Caleb Beverly, 23, of Philippi
- Nicholas Buono, 34, of Philippi
- Kayla Jenkins, 27, of Philippi
- Calvin Mullins, 29, of Philippi
- Katrina Sears, 42, of Belington
- Wendell Beverly, 58, of Philippi
- Christopher Columbus Mayle, 42, of Philippi
- Kyle Lantz, 38, of Philippi
- John Holliday, 31, Mill Creek
- Jenny Wood, 30, of Beverly
- Matthew Mayle, 35, of Philippi
- James Cutright, 34, of Philippi
- Noah Graham, 20, of Philippi
- Austin Robinson, 22, of Belington
- Dustin Summerfield, 29, of Beverly
- Jonathan Swiger, 33, of Belington
- Cameron Shreve, 43, of Mill Creek
- Albert Shreve, 42, of Elkins
- Gary Loy, 48, of Clarksburg
- Cheyenne Winning, 29, of Montrose
- Joshua Simmons, 28, of Elkins
As of Tuesday evening, 11 of the 21 federal defendants were being held, without bond, in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
The 21 named federal defendants are facing charges that range from distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine to unlawful possession of a firearm. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in Barbour and Randolph counties, according to a news release.
During the operation, authorities seized more than 50 firearms, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, Morrow said.
“Methamphetamine continues to be a serious problem in our district. When you combine methamphetamine dealers with firearms, it’s a dangerous combination. I commend all of our law enforcement partners for their hard work on these cases, and their continued partnership to make our communities safer places to live and work,” said Ihlenfeld.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, the West Virginia State Police, the Mountain Region Drug Task Force, the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office, and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.