Suspects in three states arrested as part of heroin investigation

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin addresses media Friday afternoon as Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens, right, listens. Martin, speaking for the Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force, issued brief remarks about a series of arrests Friday with the cooperation of the FBI and the narcotics task force.

Photo by Jeff Baughan Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin addresses media Friday afternoon as Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens, right, listens. Martin, speaking for the Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force, issued brief remarks about a series of arrests Friday with the cooperation of the FBI and the narcotics task force.

PARKERSBURG — Suspects in three states — including several in the Parkersburg area — were arrested Friday at the conclusion of a year-long investigation conducted by local, state and federal authorities.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said the investigation involving the trafficking of heroin in the Wood County area was conducted by the Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force, with assistance from the FBI.

At 6 a.m. Friday, an operation to arrest 18 people involved in this investigation began and was conducted in three states, along with Parkersburg and Detroit, Mich.

As a result of the operation, agents with the FBI, PNTF, Parkersburg Police, and the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, made a total of 15 individual arrests, Martin said.

Seven of the arrests made were on federal indictments for conspiracy to deliver controlled substance charges. Eight individuals were arrested on state felony charges of conspiracy to deliver heroin and one count of delivery of heroin.

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin addresses media Friday afternoon as Williamstown Police Chief Shawn Graham, right, listens.

Photo by Jeff Baughan Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin addresses media Friday afternoon as Williamstown Police Chief Shawn Graham, right, listens.

The investigation, although long term, will have a significant impact on the availability of heroin in the Wood County area, Martin said. The evidence collected will be processed and additional information will be released at a later time, he said.

“The agencies involved are proud of the outcome of this case and the PNTF is committed to locating, identifying, and prosecuting those persons who bring the poison into our community,” Martin said in a Friday press release.

The public is advised that if they know the whereabouts of the three wanted persons they should contact law enforcement or leave anonymous tips at parkersburgpolice.com.

Those still being sought by officials are Bernard Tonyo Spann, 33, of Parkersburg, Robert Joe Cross, 34, of Parkersburg, and Teresa L. Allender, 56, of Parkersburg. Each is wanted on a charge of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.

Seven people were arrested Friday on federal charges of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. They include: Dennis Deangelo Carter, 27, Warren, Mich.; Joseph Denard Reeder-Shaw, 32, Parkersburg; Jennifer Louise Benson, 35, Parkersburg; Debra Lynn Martin, 34, Parkersburg; Rachel Naomi Kuhn, 35, Parkersburg; Kennedy Michele Walker, 22, Vienna; and Jonathon E. Brown, 36, Parkersburg.

Eight people were arrested on state charges of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. They include: Kristie Jo Sellers, 32, Parkersburg; Mellissa Ann VanFossen, 33, Parkersburg; Gabrielle Marie Bradshaw-Toler, 23, Vienna; Clarence Edward Toler, 35, Vienna; Melissa Maria Stevens, 39, Williamstown; Lindsey Mae Tornes, 27, Marietta; Torie Melissa Clegg, 28, Vienna; and Deonte E. Lindsey, 31, Parkersburg.

According to Wood County Magistrate Court records available Friday afternoon, at least six of the suspects were arraigned and had bond set by a magistrate. Stevens was released on $10,000 bond. Lindsey had bond set at $500,000 while Clegg, Toler, Bradshaw-Toler and Sellers had their bonds set at $150,000 each.

The PNTF is comprised of investigators from the Parkersburg Police Department, Wood County Sheriff’s Office, Vienna Police Department, Williamstown Police Department and the West Virginia State Police.

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