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W.Va. drug sweep nets 10 arrests

July 12, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A three-year investigation into drug dealing in Martinsburg produced 10 arrests during a police sweep through the city Wednesday night and Thursday morning, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Johnston said.

Three other people already in custody for unrelated reasons were facing drug charges, too, for a total of 13 people.

Five people named in the indictments had not been arrested by Thursday morning, and authorities were asking the public for help in finding them.

The cluster of arrests followed four federal indictments, totaling 57 counts, handed up Tuesday in Martinsburg.

The indictments allege wide-scale drug trafficking, mostly in cocaine and crack cocaine, starting in 1995. A few counts involve trafficking in marijuana, heroin and Alprazolam, which is a prescription anti-anxiety drug commonly known as Xanax.

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Johnston said the drug dealing was based in the Centre Street area, which is just east of downtown.

Asked if the trafficking was considered an organized ring, Johnston declined to label it that way.

"Characterizing drug activity is a slippery business," Johnston said.

However, the numerous counts of drug possession and distribution in the indictments indicate that many of the defendants worked together.

In separate counts of one indictment, Marcus Orlando Taylor of Martinsburg, and Michael Rodell Roberts of Martinsburg were charged with carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

In another indictment, Helen Louise Robinson of Martinsburg, and Anthony Curry of Martinsburg were accused of maintaining a residence for the purpose of using and distributing crack cocaine.

The Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force - which is made up of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies - investigated the drug crimes.

The indictments allege the trafficking began in 1995, but the first specific transaction mentioned came in 1999. Most of the other alleged sales occurred last year and this year.

Local police were busy in and around Martinsburg Wednesday night rounding up the people named in the indictments.

Some people were arrested at the Berkeley Gardens and Capital Heights complexes, Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith said.

Smith said about half of his department worked on the arrests Wednesday night.

The work was interrupted when some deputies were called away to a serious multivehicle accident on W.Va. 9, in which three people were killed.

Johnston said West Virginia State Police, Martinsburg City Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department also worked on the arrests.

Asked if the arrests meant an end to drug trafficking in the Centre Street neighborhood, Johnston said, "One will hope this will make a dent in the problem."

As Johnston spoke at the federal courthouse in Martinsburg Thursday morning, U.S. Magistrate Judge David Joel arraigned some of the defendants in another part of the building.

According to the indictments, all but two of the defendants lived in Martinsburg.

Those arrested Wednesday and Thursday, according to Johnston, were:

-- Jermaine Lamar Carey, aka "Timmy," 22, of 106 Georgetown Square, Martinsburg

-- Charles William Cook, aka "C.J.," 21, of Kearneysville, W.Va.

-- Jonathan Michael Crawford, 23, of 419 W. Burke St., Martinsburg

-- Delmar Hoza Curry, aka "Dale," 21, of 127 Walnut St., Martinsburg

-- Stanley Lamont Johnson, aka "Home Town," 43, of 128 S. High St., Martinsburg

-- Michael Rodell Roberts, 29, of 305 E. Burke St., Martinsburg

-- Helen Louise Robinson, aka "Helen Louise Cook," 48, of 300 Garden Drive, Apt. 201, Martinsburg

-- David Edward Rosario, 26, of 715 Madison Ave., Martinsburg

-- Marcus Orlando Taylor, aka "Marky-Mark," 26, of 653 State Circle, Martinsburg

-- Cheryl Ann Welch, 24, of 128 E. Liberty St., Martinsburg

The following people were already in custody on unrelated charges:

-- Astley Rose Brown, 25, of Centre Street, Martinsburg

-- Clyde Edward Brown Sr., 40, of 121 Centre St., Martinsburg

-- William Matthew Redman, aka "Willie," 35, of Martinsburg

The following people have not been found:

-- Clyde Everett Brown Jr., 29, of 121 Centre St., Martinsburg

-- Anthony Curry, aka "Ace," 29, of 305 E. Liberty St., Apt. 1, Martinsburg

-- Paul Lee Jackson, 33, of 1401 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg, Pa.

-- Antoine Darnell Lane, 22, of 306 E. Race St., Martinsburg

-- Julian Demont Pace, 27, of 319 Boyd Ave., Martinsburg.

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