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33-count indictment brings 9 W.Va. arrests

August 23, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Nine Martinsburg residents were arrested Friday on drug charges contained in a 33-count federal indictment, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Wheeling, W.Va.

Four were already in police custody on unrelated charges when the warrants were served by the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force.

The indictment was returned last week by a federal grand jury in Martinsburg and includes drug conspiracy charges dating back to 1995 and charges of retaliation against witnesses.

Crack and powder cocaine, Valium, Tylox, Lorcet, Hydrocet, Percocet, heroin, methadone and Xanax were among the drugs allegedly distributed in northern West Virginia over a four-year period from 1995 to August 1999, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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Charged with drug distribution and conspiracy were Margaret A. Messick, 52, of Dodson's Trailer Park; Earnest W. Shifflett, 35, and James Howard Shifflett, 33, both of 204 E. Martin St.; Michael Lee Messick Jr., 20, of 306 Garden Drive, Apartment 203; Michael Wayne Shifflett, 31, of Route 6, Box 300; Terry Lee Shifflett, 25, of Dodson's Trailer Park; Allen Jackson Cook Jr., 31, and Penny Cook, 29, both of 105 1/2 N. Kentucky Ave.; and David Scott Gray, 35, of Dodson's Trailer Park.

Various other charges were included in the indictment.

Margaret A. Messick and Earnest W. Shifflett were charged with drug possession and retaliation against a witness.

James Howard Shifflett was charged with witness retaliation, and Terry Lee Shifflett was charged with drug possession and using a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.

Michale Wayne Shifflett and Penny Cook were charged with drug possession, and Michael Lee Messick Jr. was charged with witness retaliation.

David Scott Gray was charged with possessing a firearm that had been shipped in interstate commerce.

The nine defendants appeared in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg on Monday. Michael Wayne Shifflett and Penny Cook were released on bond. Bond amounts were unavailable.

The other seven were detained pending an Aug. 30 hearing in Martinsburg.

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