ELKINS – Several local law enforcement agencies working in conjunction with the ATF, DEA, FBI and the Mountain Region Drugs and Violent Crime Task Force completed a two-county sweep on Tuesday which resulted in the arrest of 48 people.
The operation was part of a two-year investigation that focused on Randolph and Barbour counties. The sweep produced a total of 21 arrests on federal warrants and 27 on state warrants.
“Today’s arrest operation represents the culmination of many long working hours of state, local and federal law enforcement officers from the Mountain Region Drug Task Force,” said Kenneth Grace, ATF resident agent in charge of the Clarksburg field office. âEach law enforcement agency in this task force brings their own unique resources, authorities and knowledge, all of which are essential to fulfilling their common mission of combating drug traffickers and violent criminals in this community. “
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department, Barbour County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police, and Elkins Town Police Department were all part of the operation which saw 77 law enforcement officers leave a command post early in the morning.
“I would like to thank the Mountain Region Drug and Violent Crime Take Force for their efforts over the past two years to address these cases,” Randolph County Sheriff Rob Elbon said. âNone of this could have been done without the hard work and efforts of all the agencies involved in this operation. We started this morning with 77 officers at a briefing, we split into teams and the officers got out and started executing the plan we had in place.
The arrests led to the seizure of 35 illegal firearms, as well as a wide variety of drugs. Many of those arrested were transported to Tygarts Valley Regional Jail, where police set up the BATmobile, a DWI trailer, to process all accused arriving at the scene.
“We all had to work together as a state, county, city and federal government to make this happen,” Barbour County Sheriff Brett Carpenter said. “It’s been a long process and it’s taken so long because it takes time for all of these cases to be built.”
Grace said the ATF is committed to continuing to assist local law enforcement in any way it can.
“I am proud to say that ATF has been part of the working group on drugs since its inception”, he said. âThese dedicated law enforcement officers work tirelessly every day to secure the counties of Randolph and Barbour, as well as the surrounding communities. The ATF remains dedicated to our mission of protecting communities from violent criminals, armed drug traffickers, and the illegal use and trafficking of firearms.
According to a press release from the Office of the United States Northern District Attorney of West Virginia, William J. Ihlenfeld II, the 21 people arrested under federal warrants are:
â¢ Caleb Andrew Beverly, 23, from Philippi.
â¢ Nicolas Joseph Buono, 34, from Philippi.
â¢ Kayla Lynn Jenkins, 27, from Philippi.
â¢ Calvin Crocket Mullins, 29, from Philippi.
â¢ Katrina Ann Sears, 42, of Belington.
â¢ Wendell Dean Beverly, 58, from Philippi.
â¢ Christophe Colomb Mayle, 42, from Philippi.
â¢ Kyle Richard Lantz, II, 38, from Philippi.
â¢ John C. Holliday, 31, Mill Creek.
â¢ Jenny Lynn Wood, 30, of Beverly.
â¢ Matthew Scott Mayle, 35, from Philippi.
â¢ James Richard Cutright, also known as “Jimmy,” 34, from Philippi.
â¢ Noah Jacob Graham, 20, from Philippi.
â¢ Austin Jay Robinson, 22, of Belington.
â¢ Dustin Allen Summerfield, 29, of Beverly.
â¢ Jonathan Andrew Swiger, 33, of Belington.
â¢ Cameron K. Shreve, 43, of Mill Creek.
â¢ Albert Perry Shreve III, 42, of Elkins.
â¢ Gary Roudolph Loy Jr., 48, of Clarksburg.
â¢ Cheyenne Mary Katherine Gagnante, 29, of Montrose.
â¢ Joshua Dewayne Simmons, 28, of Elkins.
The statement said the 21 people face charges ranging from distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine to illegal possession of a firearm. The crimes were allegedly committed in Barbour and Randolph counties.
âMethamphetamine continues to be a serious problem in our district. When you combine methamphetamine traffickers with guns, it’s a dangerous combination. I commend all of our law enforcement partners for their hard work on these cases and their continued partnership in making our communities safer places to live and work, â Ihlenfeld said in the statement.