27 Arrested in Marshall County Drug Sweep; Five Remain at Large

MOUNDSVILLE – Five people remain on the loose after a large-scale investigation by Marshall County officials into illicit drug sales, which resulted in the arrest of 27 people this morning.

Marshall County Prosecutor Rhonda Wade said 32 people were indicted by a special grand jury Monday, leading to the mobilization of police this morning. Moundsville Police Chief Tom Mitchell said the arrests were carried out within a three-hour period, concluding at about 11 a.m.

“These 32 individuals were charged with more than 100 counts, including delivery of a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance within 100 feet of a protected area, and conspiracy to commit delivery,” Wade said. “The drugs involved in all of these charges, with the exception of two, were Suboxone and Subutex — the other two were cocaine.”

As of this afternoon, Michelle Darling, 39, of Wheeling, Samantha Simmons, 25, of Moundsville, William Wilson, 40, of McMechen, Joseph Shaw, 27, of Benwood, and Bethany Wise, 28, of Moundsville, remained at large. West Virginia State Police Sgt. C.J. Lance urged those with information on their whereabouts, or the accused themselves, to contact the state police or the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department.

Those arrested today include: Angela Scheirich, 29, of Moundsville; Miranda Fordyce, 36, of Moundsville; Summer Metz, 36, of Moundsville; Glen Donley 31, of Moundsville; Jennifer Douglass, 36, of Moundsville; Paul Fordyce, 36, of Moundsville; Susan Stephens, 38, of Moundsville; Robin Bidwell, 35, of Cameron; Kayd Keener, 31, of Moundsville; Alexa Murphy, 26, of Moundsville; Brian Murphy, 30, of Moundsville; Okey Hill, 33, of Moundsville; John Stevens, 50, of Moundsville; David LeMasters, 29, of Moundsville; Beth Stephens, 26, of Moundsville; John Nester, 34, of Moundsville; Tia Enmund, 34, of Moundsville; David Branicky, 23, of Benwood; Rhonda West, 48, of Moundsville; David Ralbusky, 35, of McMechen; Brad Wolfe, 46, of McMechen; Billie Joel Wayt, 46, of Bellaire; Kimberly Rice, 59, of Bellaire; Brooke Hayes, 34, of Moundsville; Zachary Hansen, 22, of McMechen; Michael Miedel, 48, of Shadyside; and Shawn Patterson, 38, of Moundsville.

Lance added that most of those arrested had some form of government assistance in obtaining the drugs, either federally or through the state, which are used to assist in rehabilitation with addiction to heroin.

“I’ve got to hand it to these guys — the Marshall County Drug Task Force put a lot of work in these past 11 months,” said Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Cecil. “This is the culmination of all their work, and we applaud their efforts.

“This is a good example of cooperation between agencies,” Mitchell added. “We take our best people and put them in the task force, give them direction, and let them go do their thing. Hopefully this will impact the community in a positive way.”

All those arrested today are scheduled to appear before Circuit Judge Jeff Cramer at 1 p.m. Friday to have their bonds set.