82 Individuals Indicted in an Eastern Panhandle Drug-Trafficking Operation: Fentanyl, Methamphetamine, and Cocaine Seized

Ranson, West Virginia – A major drug-trafficking operation that distributed fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine has been dismantled in the Eastern Panhandle, with 82 individuals indicted by a federal grand jury. The case, which spanned multiple states, involved a network that supplied large quantities of fentanyl to the area. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher confirmed the charges during a press conference at the Ranson Police Department, where she highlighted the significance of the indictment. The investigation resulted in the seizure of 10 kilograms of fentanyl, as well as cocaine, methamphetamine, firearms, and substantial assets.

Acting Special Agent in Charge Mike Shanahan, from the FBI-Pittsburgh Division, praised the coordinated effort across three states that led to the dismantling of the criminal enterprise. He emphasized the danger posed by the distribution of illegal narcotics and noted the unique, candy-like appearance of many of the drugs, which could entice young people. The indictments were only possible due to the collaboration of various law enforcement agencies over an extended period of time.

Sheriff Tom Hansen of Jefferson County expressed gratitude to the partners involved in the investigation and commended their efforts that led to the arrest of key figures in the drug ring. He specifically acknowledged the assistance provided by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Reserves, who played a crucial role in transporting the arrestees. Sgt. Jonathan Meeks, detachment commander with the Charles Town Detachment of the West Virginia State Police, echoed these sentiments and recognized the contributions of the officers, analysts, linguists, and support staff involved in the case.

The list of individuals indicted in the operation is extensive, with Gary Bernard Brown Jr., known as “Gee,” identified as a key supplier of fentanyl capsules and powder. While 11 of the defendants are still at large, law enforcement agencies are actively searching for their whereabouts. Anyone with information about these individuals is encouraged to contact the authorities or visit the official U.S. Marshals website.

The investigation into this major drug-trafficking operation was a collaborative effort involving several agencies, including the FBI, DEA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The Eastern Panhandle Drug Task Force, along with various local law enforcement agencies, also played a vital role. The successful operation is part of an ongoing effort to combat organized crime drug enterprises.

The conclusion of this case sends a clear message to drug offenders that they will be held accountable. The law enforcement agencies involved are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of their communities by diligently pursuing those who attempt to fill the void left by the recent arrests. With this victory, the battle against drugs has achieved a significant milestone.