Approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine and 40 firearms seized
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston announced that a federal grand jury has returned two indictments charging 15 individuals for their roles in a drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine in Kanawha County.
Charged in a 15-count indictment are: Ramon David Alston, 41, of Decatur, Georgia; Jonathan Gregory Bush, 38, of Dunbar, West Virginia; Kelly Cordle, 43, of Kimberly, West Virginia; Scott Edward Hudson, 49, and Jason Robert Oxley, 38, of St. Albans, West Virginia; Leo Antoine Smith, of Cross Lanes, West Virginia; and James Edward Bennett III, 30, Treydan Burks, 31, Kaitlyn Brooke Combs, 24, Denise Marie Cottrell, 63, Brittany Frances Gilbert, 33, Brian Dangelo Terry, 36 and Douglas Johnathan Wesley, 32, all of Charleston, West Virginia. The indictment charges 11 of the defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Kanawha County from March 2019 to September 2021. The indictment also charges various drug and gun crimes carried out in connection with the DTO.
In a separate 10-count indictment, Shane Kelly Fulkerson, 43, of Saint Albans, West Virginia and Timothy Wayne Dodd, 45, of Charleston, West Virginia are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Kanawha County from March to September 2021. Additional charges against Fulkerson include distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
During the course of the nearly 18-month-long investigation, law enforcement seized approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine, 40 firearms, more than $80,000 cash, and several vehicles. Several of the vehicles and firearms had been reported stolen.
“The indictments unsealed earlier today are the result of tremendous effort, teamwork, and cooperation between our federal, state and local law enforcement partners,” said Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston. “I commend their efforts and thank them for their countless hours of hard work in bringing down this violent drug organization.”
“Charleston and the surrounding areas have been plagued by illegal drugs and the fear of violence for too long,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “The FBI and our local, state and federal partners will not let drug dealers hold a community hostage. We are committed to cleaning up the streets and holding those individuals accountable for the violence and drug trafficking they engage in.”
“The number of offenders, the quantity of drugs seized, and the guns taken off our streets is impressive work, but it does not begin to tell the full story of how this impacts the City of Charleston and our surrounding cities,” said Chief James “Tyke” Hunt of the Charleston Police Department. “Violence was curbed, and lives were saved multiple times throughout this investigation and that is the bigger picture, that is why all of us standing before you today do what we do.”
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Marshals Service, the Charleston Police Department, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.
Please note: An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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 Nos. 2:21-cr-00171 (Fulkerson, et al.) and 2:21-cr-00172 (Alston, et al.).