Over 150 pounds of methamphetamine and four pounds of heroin were seized by police after a multi-state major drug trafficking organization (DTO) was taken down, according to a release. More than two dozen people were also arrested on federal and state charges.
The take down on Oct. 11 was a result of a long-term investigation led by the FBI and the Parkersburg Narcotics and Violent Crimes Task Force (PNTF), and involved the cooperation of law enforcement authorities in several states, read the release. A total of at least 29 individuals have been charged in federal and state court.
In December 2017, members of the PNTF executed a search warrant at a residence in Parkersburg, and learned that large amounts of methamphetamine were being shipped to West Virginia from Mexico. Witness interviews, financial records, and informant information led to the identification of Parkersburg residents Terrance McGuirk, Antoine Terry, and Aurelius Edmonds as the individuals with access to the methamphetamine being shipped from the southern border to locations in West Virginia and Ohio.
Over the course of the last nine months, agents and task force officers conducted investigations linking the Parkersburg DTO to sources in Arizona, stated the release.
On Sept. 19, surveillance led investigators to Dayton where Terry and Edmonds met with Arizona residents Todd Land and Troy Pastorino to pick up a large shipment of controlled substances that had been offloaded from a truck into a rented storage unit. Investigators observed Pastorino load the drugs into the trunk of a Dodge Charger before police seized the drugs at a traffic stop. Terry, Edmonds, and Land were arrested at a nearby business, and McGuirk was arrested at his hotel near the Dayton airport.
The arrests and seizures relating to the investigation are as follows:
- 17 charged in federal indictment in the Southern District of West Virginia with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
- 1 defendant charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm
- 12 facing state charges filed by the Wood County Prosecuting Attorney
- Over 150 pounds of methamphetamine seized
- Over $84,000 seized
- Several vehicles used to transport controlled substances seized
“Largest seizure of methamphetamine in our state’s history and massive amount of heroin – today is a significant day for West Virginia, the City of Parkersburg, Wood County and the surrounding multi-state area,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “A significant drug trafficking organization with connections to sources of supply in Mexico has been dismantled. The level of cooperation between our federal, state and local law enforcement agencies is unprecedented and reaches beyond West Virginia’s borders and beyond America’s borders. As a result, the largest seizure of methamphetamine in our state’s history and a massive amount of heroin was seized before it reached our streets. Today’s actions are merely the first step in a long-term, sustained, aggressive effort to rid our streets of the drug dealers and drug thugs that cause chaos, havoc and despair in our communities and in our families.”