U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of West Virginia
(304) 234-0100
June 16, 2015

Multi-State Heroin Trafficking Operation Based in Baltimore, Maryland Fractured by Federal Indictment

MARTINSBURG, WV—Multiple individuals were arrested today pursuant to a 163-count federal indictment charging 41 people with facilitating an extensive, multi-state heroin trafficking operation, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, West Virginia State Police Colonel Jay Smithers, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Scott Smith, announced.

Maryland resident Brian Alexander Hall, 27, is alleged to have orchestrated a far-reaching heroin distribution network in which a large group of individuals repeatedly travelled across state lines to procure quantities of heroin from Hall in Baltimore, Maryland, and the surrounding region. The individuals then returned to locations in West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to redistribute the heroin obtained from Hall. Officers utilized a variety of investigative tools to uncover the communication and interstate travel patterns underlying the drug distribution operation.

“Today’s arrests are just one element in a continuing effort to combat the epidemic of drug abuse in our region,” noted U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. “It is particularly troubling when drug dealers send their product across state lines and target vulnerable populations for purely economic gain. Federal and local law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions leveraged cutting-edge surveillance techniques to conduct a sophisticated and expedient investigation in this case, and I commend them for their efforts.”

“These charges and arrests highlight the importance of the ‘High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’ designation that Berkeley County received last year through the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA,” said West Virginia State Police Colonel Jay Smithers. “The future growth of and participation in HIDTA initiatives will greatly benefit the citizens of the Eastern Panhandle. All those involved in this collaborative effort should be commended for their continued hard work and dedication to combat the illegal drug culture which is destroying our communities and families.”

This morning, the indictment was unsealed and 35 of the defendants were taken into custody as part of a coordinated, multi-state arrest operation. Those arrested today include:

  • Jared Michael Belanger, 35, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Lindsay Bohrer, 37, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia,
  • Shawn Blain Bowers, 36, of Braddock Heights, Maryland,
  • Theresa Brewer, 61, of Braddock Heights, Maryland,
  • Kenneth Bryan Crowley, 38, of Rockville, Maryland,
  • James R. Dove, 30, of Keyser, West Virginia,
  • Veronica Gladden, 32, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Harmony Hahn, 31, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Bonnie Hanna, 34, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • James Francis Hansen, Jr., 48, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia,
  • Javier Lewis Howard, 32, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • James Miner Jenkins, 36, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Jessica Kesecker, 33, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia,
  • Brandon Kidwell, 23, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia,
  • Darla Kinser, 29, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Edward Lee Knotts, a.k.a. “Eddie,” 32, of Ranson, West Virginia,
  • Jeffery David Murphy, a.k.a. “J.D.,” 34, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Brandon Lee Odell, 32, of Inwood, West Virginia,
  • Scott Andrew Ours, a.k.a. “D,” 32, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Melissa Portrey, a.k.a. “Missy,” 47, of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia,
  • Josh Reid, 32, of Martinsburg, West Virginia.
  • Craig Rhodes, 46, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania,
  • Cassandra Elaine Riggs, a.k.a “Casey Braithwaite,” 25, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • James Michael Ross, 32, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Cortney Blaire Saylor, a.k.a “C,” 29, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Megan Saylor, 32, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Robert Hamilton Shanley-Sexton, a.k.a. “Robbie,” 23, of Gaithersburg, Maryland,
  • Frederick Smitherman, a.k.a. “Freddy,” 36, of Inwood, West Virginia,
  • William Thomas Stine, a.k.a. “Tom,” 39, of Martinsburg, West Virginia,
  • Cameron Steinbaugh, 28, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia,
  • Teddy Edward Threadgill, 46, of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia,
  • Veronica Thomas, 24, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania,
  • Bruce Morton Vaudrien, Jr., 45, of Kearneysville, West Virginia,
  • Michelle Lynn Warnick, 32, of Kearneysville, West Virginia,
  • William Lee Wasson, a.k.a. “Bill,” 38, of Falling Waters, West Virginia, and
  • Sarah Marie Weant, 26, of Kearneysville, West Virginia.

Two defendants are currently in state custody, including:

  • Clinton Dunlap, a.k.a. “K.D.,” 31, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, and
  • Steward Eugene Whitehead, Jr., a.k.a. “Geno,” 29, of Inwood, West Virginia.

Several individuals have not yet been located, including:

  • Roma Michelle Bland, 37, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, and
  • James Wesley Faircloth, 34, of Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the aforementioned individuals is encouraged to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (412) 432-4000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Krasinski is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the West Virginia State Police, and the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, are leading the investigation. The United States Marshals Service and the Baltimore County Police Department in Maryland are also supporting the investigation.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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