‘Project Parkersburg’ tracks drug cases

PARKERSBURG — Thursday’s operation was the first public announcement of the “Project Parkersburg,” according to Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin and United States Attorney of the Southern District of West Virginia Michael B. Stuart.

“It’s a project which was ongoing but not announced,” according to Martin and Stuart. “A multi-state drug trafficking organization was dismantled as a result of a long-term investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Parkersburg Narcotics and Violent Crimes Task Force (PNTF) and involved the cooperation of law enforcement authorities of several states,” Stuart said.

“A total of at least 29 individuals have been charged in federal and state courts and final determinations of jurisdiction for charging will be made as a result of a review of the day’s arrests.”

According to Stuart in a press release detailing the history of the project, in December of 2017 members of the PNTF executed a search warrant in Parkersburg where they gained information concerning large amounts of methamphetamine were making its way to Parkersburg with roots of production reaching into Mexico.

Stuart said law enforcement work led to the identification of Parkersburg residents Terrance McGuirk, Antoine Terry and Aurelius Edmonds as individuals with alleged access to the meth coming from the southern borders to West Virginia and Ohio.

Nine months of police work linked the Parkersburg drug trafficking organization (DTO) to sources in Arizona with the takedown coming Sept. 19 when surveillance led investigators to Dayton, Ohio where Terry and Edmonds allegedly met with Arizona residents Todd Land and Troy Pastorino, officials said. There the two Parkersburg men are alleged to have received a large shipment of controlled substances to include more than 150 pounds of meth which had been offloaded from a truck into a large rented storage unit, officials said.

Investigators observed Pastorino load the drugs into the trunk of a Dodge Charger, officials said. Police then seized the drugs after making a traffic stop of Pastorino. Terry, Edmonds and Land were arrested at a nearby business. McGuirk was arrested at his hotel near the Dayton Airport.

“It’s believed the dismantling of the Parkersburg DTO removed all the Parkersburg area individuals with access to the Arizona source and significantly curtailed the amount of meth in Wood County and the surrounding area.”

Martin added “three weeks ago two from Mexico and three locals were arrested which made a significant difference in today. Things seemed out of order but actually strengthened the case. After the arrest we processed a Liberty Street house and took approximately 4.4 pounds of heroin from the house.

“The guys on this operation put in a lot of time and sacrificed a lot,” Martin stated. “Their families sacrificed a lot so they could do this job. This is ongoing,” Martin said. “Everyone came back safely today.”

The following is a list of federal arrests made in connection with Thursday’s drug arrests in the Parkersburg area. Addresses were not provided at the time of publication.

* Aurelius Edmonds, aka “Bunkie”

* Josh Conger

* Michael Holley

* Terrance McGuirk, aka “Bunkie”

* Antonine Terry

* Colleen Moyle

* Todd Land, aka “White Boy”

* Theodore Gibson, aka “T.J.”

* Stephanie Eldred

* Amy Rake

* Marshall Polan

* Nick Easton

* Jeffrey Hoyler

* Michael Rhodes

* Amanda Adkinson

* Edward Marks

* Rodney Payne


State arrests on charges with local addresses:

* Cassandra Miller, address unavailable

* Laciey Nichole Cane, 821 1/2 Quincy St., Parkersburg

* Joshua David Chichester, 1444 Jesterville Road, Parkersburg

* Carrie Priest, address unavailable

* Guy Eugene Morris, 923 Swann St., Parkersburg

* Josh Heiney, address unavailable

* Kirsten Lynne Johnson, 904 Virginia Ave., Parkersburg

* Terry Anthony Abbott, 1708 Staunton Ave., Parkersburg

* Uriah Charles Parker,1011 Swann St., Parkersburg

* Paul Allen Adkins, 1023 38th St., Vienna

* Jonathan Warren Turley, 1333 Dillaway St., Parkersburg

* Ronnie Lockhart, 1701 Staunton Ave., Parkersburg