Officials announce 25 indictments in Texas-to-Morgantown drug operation

Crime

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – At a news conference Tuesday, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia Bill Powell announced that 25 people have been indicted by a federal grand jury for various drug crimes, centered mainly around Morgantown.

The grand jury, which met in Elkins, handed up indictments for 13 West Virginians, nine people from Texas, two California residents and one person from Michigan, Powell said. The 25 are charged with 56 counts, according to Powell.

The majority of the 25 have been taken into custody in West Virginia and in other states, and U.S. Marshals are looking for the rest, Powell said. During the arrests, officers found drugs and cash, he said.

The 25 indicted are:

Anthony Allen, 34, of Rosenberg, Texas*
Johnnie Bradley, 37, of Houston, Texas*
Michael Alcendor, 19, of Houston, Texas*
James Pugh, 46, of Wheeling, West Virginia
Jeffrey Howard, 23, of Houston, Texas*
Kedrick Howard, 27, of Dallas, Texas*
Leonard Jasmine, 28, Houston, Texas*
Sixto Marquez, 44, of Paramount, California*
Francisco Chanes, 36, of Los Angeles, California
Aaliyah Snowden, 25, of Eastpointe, Michigan*
Roderick Bradley, 30, of Houston, Texas*
Kelsey McClung, 27, of Westover, West Virginia*
Robert Woody, 41, of Morgantown, West Virginia*
Tiffany Groves, 42, of Kingwood, West Virginia*
Sabrina Burton, 24, of Morgantown, West Virginia
Skilor Perdue, 25, of Morgantown, West Virginia*
Loren Delaney, 29, of Morgantown, West Virginia*
Greg Snider, 61, of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia*
Morgan Janes, 23, of Morgantown, West Virginia*
Suzanne Adiyeh, 37, of Morgantown, West Virginia
Antonio Buzzo, 25, of Maidsville, West Virginia
David Gamble, 56, of Masontown, West Virginia*
Leslie O’Quinn, 30, of Houston, Texas*
Narkevia Lewis, 22, of Houston, Texas*
Ashley Johnson, 34, Morgantown, West Virginia

*Denotes defendants who are currently in custody.

The illegal operation included methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl and heroin, which was brought to Morgantown from California, the Houston, Texas area and Mexico, Powell said.

“The methamphetamine we believe came directly from Mexico. That’s been a problem area for the entire country for some time, for our country for some time, because the methamphetamine is really pure now. It’s not that cheap stuff that used to be, now you have 98, 99% pure methamphetamine made in laboratories in Mexico,” Powell said. “So, it’s a constant battle. It’s a team effort by a lot of federal and local agencies but it’s not unusual unfortunately that we see meth coming to West Virginia from Mexico.”

Between 18 and 27 kilograms of narcotics were brought to Monongalia County during the course of the two-year investigation, from the spring of 2018 to October 2020, according to Powell. Some of the drug transactions happened near West Virginia University, Powell said.

The FBI’s Northern West Virginia Drug Task Force in partnership with the Mon Metro Drug Task Force, investigated the case. The task forces have members from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; West Virginia State Police; the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office; and, the Morgantown, WVU, Granville and Star City police departments. The investigation was also assisted by the following law enforcement partners: the Monongalia County Prosecutor’s Office, the FBI in Houston, Texas; the Houston Police Department’s Multi Agency Gang Initiative; the United States Postal Inspection Service in Houston; and, the FBI and DEA in Los Angeles, California, according to a press release.

“This is the third major indictment announced in just the last few weeks here in the Northern District of West Virginia. What they all have in common is the presence of out of state participants alleged to be part of a significant drug conspiracy. We have dedicated law enforcement partners and aggressive prosecutors who will root out such activity in our district and enforce the law. We have always believed that this type of effort is required to protect our communities. To those thinking that they can come into our state and participate in these illegal activities without consequence, you are sadly mistaken. We will not stop, but I suggest that you do,” said Powell.

The other indictments Powell mentioned included 26 defendants in Wheeling and 22 defendants in Martinsburg.

Law enforcement officials asked community members to help them continue the battle drug problems in the area by calling local police when they see something illegal happening.

You can watch the full press conference here.

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