NEW CUMBERLAND - Eight of the 39 people charged earlier this month in a large drug sweep have been indicted by the Hancock County grand jury on multiple drug charges.
The indictments, returned early last week, ensure the people who were arrested on state charges will be fully prosecuted, Hancock County Prosecutor Jim Davis said.
"You have to indict them to do anything with them," Davis said.
The state charges filed in Hancock County Magistrate Court were enough to make the arrests, but the cases were then bound over to the grand jury, which meets three times a year in Hancock County. Their cases will be adjudicated in Hancock County Circuit Court.
The eight people are:
Brian Humphreys, 33, of East Liverpool: Delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana), conspiracy to deliver controlled substances;
Heather Wells, 32, of Chester: Conspiracy to deliver controlled substances;
Roslyn Galloway, 28, of Newell: Delivery of a controlled substance (Oxycontin/oxycodone, three counts), child neglect creating risk of serious injury (three counts);
Joshua Ryan Ayers, 23, of Aliquippa, Pa.: Delivery of a controlled substance (MDMA/"ecstasy," three counts), transporting a controlled substance into the state with intent to deliver (two counts), conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance;
Amanda M. Mackall, 20, of Georgetown, Pa.: Transporting a controlled substance (MDMA) into the state with intent to deliver (two counts), conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (three counts);
Dwayne Whitaker, 25, of McKees Rocks, Pa.: Delivery of a controlled substance (cocaine);
Scott R. Lamb, 30, of Chester: Delivery of a controlled substance (Valium/diazepam); and
Christian D. Parr, 28, of Colliers, W.Va.: Delivery of a controlled substance (Percocet).
The arrests - and subsequent indictments - were the result of a multi-state, six-month investigation by the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug Task Force into the illegal sale of heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone in Hancock County.
Investigators conducted extensive surveillance and used confidential informants to make controlled drug purchases over the course of several months. Some of the charges were the result of a federal grand jury that met in Wheeling and returned three indictments with a total of 94 drug-related counts.
Also this week, the grand jury:
Indicted a man accused of raping a 2-year-old Weirton girl in December. Tyler M. Graham, 19, of Weirton, faces charges of sexual abuse by a custodian, sexual assault in the first degree, and child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury.
Graham, originally arrested in February, allegedly harmed the girl while staying at her mother's house in December, Davis said. Graham's release on bond was met with protests outside Hancock County Courthouse on March 2. He currently is being held at Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville.
Indicted Allison M. George, 30, of Weirton, charged with escape and grand larceny. George is accused of escaping from house arrest in December and stealing $1,100 worth of electronic monitoring equipment, Davis said.
"We picked her up a month or two after she cut the bracelets off," he said.
Indicted Dale M. Nelson, 32, of Bergholz, Ohio, and Codey T. Francis, 21, of Weirton, on charges of counterfeiting for allegedly using fake $10 and $20 bills at various establishments in Weirton.
"We think they used some sort of device to create these (bills) themselves," Davis said.
Indicted Orien R. Bone, 38, of Weirton, on a charge of fraudulent schemes for allegedly trying to defraud his former employer, CTS Construction Co., and GEICO Insurance out $9,698 in insurance settlement money. Bone, who wrecked a company vehicle a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck - is accused of trying to pass the vehicle off as his and attempting to collect an insurance settlement after the accident, Davis said.
Most of the defendants will make their first court appearance on Thursday before Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Martin J. Gaughan.
(Huba can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)