W.Va. law enforcement report biggest methamphetamine bust in state history

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 4:54 PM EDT
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KANAWHA, W.Va. (WVVA) - Law enforcement is reporting the Mountain State’s biggest methamphetamine bust in the history of West Virginia in an operation they called “Smoke and Mirrors.”

That operation was led by the FBI, and it involved 12 agencies both federal and local, including the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office.

“The takedown of this drug trafficking organization stopped a record amount of methamphetamine, as well as other dangerous drugs, from reaching our communities and causing harm,” United States Attorney Will Thompson said. “This investigation demonstrates that we will use all of our resources, including new and innovative investigative techniques, against those who target our communities with this poison. Our law enforcement partners worked tirelessly to dismantle this organization and obtain these indictments, and I commend their outstanding work and dedication.”

The operation led to the seizure of over 200 pounds of methamphetamine, 28 pounds of cocaine, and 20 pounds of fentanyl as well as 18 firearms and $747,000 in cash.

Officials said that amount of fentanyl recovered represented more than 4 and a half million lethal doses.

During the course of the investigation, more than 50 search warrants were obtained in the eight-month operation.

A federal grand jury returned three indictments charging 30 individuals for their role in the drug trafficking organization, and another 24 individuals are charged in state criminal complaints.