Drug sweep continues

NEW CUMBERLAND – All but five of the 39 people charged with drug crimes in Hancock County this week have been arrested, Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said.

Five suspects were still at-large as of Friday evening. They are:

Michael Ogden Allen, 22, of Chester;

Courtney Marie Boyles, 23, of Weirton;

Shawn Lee Danver, aka “Shawn D,” 29 of East Liverpool;

Nikki J. Koffel, 24, of East Liverpool; and

Malik Alonzo Ware, aka “Blake,” 30 of New Brighton, Pa.

Fletcher said officers made several arrests on Friday and were expecting to make more.

The bulk of the arrests on the drug trafficking sweep were made on Thursday following a six-month investigation and a series of indictments returned by a federal grand jury in Wheeling.

The investigation, led by the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug Task Force, included extensive surveillance and numerous controlled purchases of narcotics.

Of the 39 people charged on federal and state trafficking counts, 10 are from Newell, eight are from East Liverpool, six are from Chester, four are from New Cumberland, three are from Weirton and one is from Wellsville. Several suspects also are from Pennsylvania.

The charges mostly have to do with the distribution and sale of heroin, methamphetamines, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone in Hancock County.

Arrest warrants filed in Hancock County Magistrate Court outline an extensive case based on drug purchases made by confidential informants in Newell Heights and elsewhere in the county over the course of several months.

The informants were wired for audio and video recording, according to the warrants.

On Jan. 9, suspects Brian Humphrey, 33, and Heather Wells, 32, both of Newell, were recorded allegedly making a sale of $40 worth of marijuana to the informant, the warrant said. The informant was dropped off near their Bentley Avenue residence in Newell Heights.

At one point, according to the warrant, Wells asked Humphrey if he had a “quarter”-approximately seven grams of marijuana-and Humphrey allegedly retrieved a wooden box with marijuana and a scale. The substance later was tested and determined to be marijuana by the West Virginia State Police crime lab.

Both Humphrey and Wells face state charges of conspiracy to deliver controlled substances and delivery of a controlled substance.

On the same date, suspect Scott R. Lamb, 30, of Chester, was recorded selling 25 pills of suspected Diazepam, a Schedule IV substance, to a wired informant outside Nash’s Mini Mart in Weirton, according to one of the warrants.

Lamb is charged with delivery of a controlled substance.

On Dec. 6, suspect Rosalyn Galloway, 28, of Newell, was recorded selling tablets of suspected oxycodone to a wired informant at an Abbey Court residence in Newell Heights, a warrant said.

Galloway is charged with delivery of a controlled substance.

The tablets later were tested and determined to be oxycodone, a Schedule I substance, by the West Virginia State Police, the warrant said.

(Huba can be contacted at shuba@reviewonline.com)