Drug trafficking investigation yields largest meth bust in West Virginia history

La víctima fue atacada a tiros desde una gasolinera.
La víctima fue atacada a tiros desde una gasolinera.(JAROMIR CHALABALA | Envato)
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 4:34 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) – United States Attorney Will Thompson announced that a major drug trafficking investigation has resulted in the largest meth seizure in West Virginia history, of well over 200 pounds.

A federal grand jury has returned three indictments charging 30 people for their roles in the drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl in Charleston. Another 24 people are charged in state criminal complaints.

During the course of  “Operation Smoke and Mirrors,” law enforcement obtained more than 50 search warrants in support of the eight-month-long investigation. Law enforcement also seized 28 pounds of cocaine, 20 pounds of fentanyl, 18 firearms and $747,000 in cash.

Charged in a three-count federal indictment are: Antonio Lamar Jeffries, 34, and Michael Allen Roberts, Jr., 40, both of St. Albans; Karl Lamont Funderburk, 37, of Hurricane, Mark Leslie Lively, 56, of Kenna; Scott Jeremy Savage, 46, of Nitro; Ryan Keith Kincaid, 46, of South Charleston; Todd Tyler Snead, 57, of Waynesboro, Virginia; and Tres Avery Davis, 34, Telisa Rene McCauley, 31, Deayria Eyshay Willis, 24, John Paul Loudermilk, 60, Timothy Allen Loudermilk, 63, Keith Royal Goode-Harper, 31, Nicole Leigh Fierbaugh, 44, Latesha Lashae Nappier, 29, Jeremy Rayshad Walker, 34, Charles Norman Pannell, 43, and Les Van Bumpus, 34, all of Charleston.

The indictment charges 14 of the defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from November 2022 to March 2023 at or near Charleston. The indictment attributes 500 grams or more of methamphetamine to Jeffries, Davis, McCauly, Roberts and Snead and 50 grams or more to Funderburk. The indictment charges six of the defendants with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and six of the defendants with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, all from December 2022 to March 2023 at or near Charleston.

Charged in a separate, one-count federal indictment are: Alexandria Jasmine Estep, 21, and Robert Dewayne Miller, 35, both of Charleston; and Perry Johnson, Jr., 29, and Dashounieque Lashay Wright, 26, both of Detroit, Michigan. The indictment charges all four defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from October 2022 to January 2023 at or near Charleston.

The federal grand jury previously indicted eight individuals as part of Operation Smoke and Mirrors: Jasper Wemh, 38, Justin Allen Bowen, 40, Richard Allen Bowen, 62, Kimberly Dawn Legg, 49, Larry Wayne Legg, 55, and Stanley Aaron Burkes, 62, all of Charleston; McKenzie Bowen, also known as McKenzie Myers, 24, of Belle; and Nicholas Bradford Confere, 35, of Mammoth. Justin Allen Bowen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine on February 23, 2023. Larry Wayne Legg pleaded guilty on March 6, 2023, to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The remaining defendants are scheduled for trial on April 25, 2023.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jeremy B. Wolfe is prosecuting the case.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia National Guard Counter Drug program, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Charleston Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office. MDENT is composed of the Charleston Police Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Nitro Police Department, the St. Albans Police Department and the South Charleston Police Department.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:23-cr-31 (Jeffries et al.), 2:23-cr-33 (Estep et al.), and 2:23-cr-4 (Wemh et al.).