CLARKSBURG — More than 140 guns, over $46,000 in cash and approximately 1 kilo of methamphetamine have been confiscated and 28 people named in a nine-month investigation resulting in two indictments being handed down by a federal grand jury sitting in Clarksburg on Aug. 29, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Betsy Steinfeld Jividen.
The first indictment was handed down alleging that a group of individuals from West Virginia conspired with one another to steal a large amount of firearms, sell those firearms, and barter those firearms for drugs in Upshur County and elsewhere from October 2016 to August of this year.
“This investigation originated with a significant theft of a private firearms collection. Over 140 firearms have been recovered in this case, 100 of those being stolen,” Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Clarksburg Field Office Resident Agent-in-Charge Dwayne Haddix said. “There are all types of weapons involved.”
Those named in the 20-count firearms indictment are: Michael Lynn Lough, 32, Buckhannon; Timothy Glen Woods, 28, French Creek; Lisa Kay Knight, 24, Upshur County; Dustin Cain Anderson, 23, Buckhannon; Benjamin Tyler Nazelrod, 26, Buckhannon; Reggie Joe McLain, aka “McLain,” 37, Buckhannon; Aaron Matthew McLain, 36, Volga; Carla Denise Jones, 55, Volga; Bobby Ray Johnson, Jr., 27, Buckhannon; Roger Lee Clem, II, aka “Woody,” 30, Weston; Kimberly A. Warner, aka “Kimmie,” 26, Buckhannon; and Danielle Paige Tanner, 22, Glen Allen, Virginia.
The second indictment was handed down, alleging another group of individuals from West Virginia conspired with one another to distribute methamphetamine in Upshur County from March 2016 to this August.
Those named in the 50-count methamphetamine distribution indictment are: Amanda Me Bachman, aka “AB,” 33, Buckhannon; Rocky Douglas Idleman, 38, Clarksburg; Thunderbolt Dean Whaley, 40, French Creek; Cassandra Tahj Riffle, aka “Cassie Hickman,” 31, Buckhannon; Melissa Ann Masuga, 33, Buckhannon; Elizabeth Ellen Golden, aka “Liz,” 42, Buckhannon; Steven Larry Harper, aka “Skip,” 39, Buckhannon; Reggie Joe McLain, 37, Buckhannon; Brett Allen Reed, 23, Buckhannon; Jerry Lee Stewart Jr., 27, Weston; Angela Dawn White, 46, Buckhannon; Clarrisa Michelle Adkins, 24, Wallace; Michael Lewis Woodyard, 26, Clarksburg; Crystal Michelle Haggarty, 34, Bridgeport; Cassie Chase Poland, 18, Fairmont; Casey Jo Richards, 28, Bridgeport; and Austin Jay Robinson, 18, Belington.
“It was a nine-month investigation. We worked primarily with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Warner. But everybody participated, including Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Mountain Region Drug Task Force, Buckhannon Police Department, Weston Police Department, Lewis County Sheriff’s Department and the State Police,” Haddix said.
The investigation involved multiple kilos of methamphetamine.
“But the most alarming facts were that these dealers were armed, the amount of meth brought in through relatively small communities and the purity of the meth,” Haddix said. “Although the sources of the supply for the meth was outside of West Virginia, this investigation impacted Harrison, Lewis and Upshur counties. This type of criminal activity is especially alarming.”
There were over 70 law enforcement officers involved in the case, representing 10 agencies.
“This case is one more example of what can be achieved when law enforcement agencies collaborate and work together to rid our communities of illegally-obtained weapons and drugs. We will continue these efforts to prosecute those who continue to plague our state with methamphetamines and other harmful illegal substances,” Jividen said in a press release.
ATF Louisville Field Division Special Agent in Charge Stuart L. Lowrey said the roundup is the result of a comprehensive investigation of a regionally significant armed drug trafficking organization based in Upshur County.
“They not only distributed large amounts of methamphetamine, but also endangered the public through the illegal acquisition, use and transfer of firearms as part of their criminal activity. This case is an outstanding example of the success law enforcement can have when agencies work together to protect the public we serve,” Lowery added.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.