Nearly 30 people were arrested and charged Friday in connection with illegal drug activity in Wyoming County Friday.

Of the 33 wanted on drug charges Friday, officers arrested 29, according to Sheriff Randall Aliff.

Armed with more than 90 warrants, officers from the Southern West Virginia Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Marshals Service hit locations across the county just before dawn.

Arrests were made in Mullens, Oceana, Lynco, Brier Creek, Clear Fork, Simon and other locations, Aliff said.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” Aliff emphasized. “We are constantly investigating drug activity.”

Aliff said the lead investigator is Capt. Don Cook, the county’s only full-time drug agent, who is assigned to the Southern West Virginia Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many of them and so few of us,” the sheriff explained.

However, Aliff believes, the ongoing investigations and surprise drug raids do send dealers underground at least for awhile.

“They will be on their toes for awhile,” Aliff noted.

A successful drug investigation sometimes takes years and includes obtaining video evidence, sometimes witness statements and multiple undercover buys, according to officials.

“The arrests today are the culmination of several months of thorough and dedicated police work,” noted Rick Staton, Wyoming County prosecuting attorney.

“My review of the warrants indicates that at least six persons may be eligible to have an existing bond revoked,” he said. “We are proceeding to file bond revocation petitions, and will file more if eligible cases are found.

“My office will also institute forfeiture proceedings to forfeit all the assets gained from illegal drug activity, including cash, vehicles and real estate.

“An arrest is a charge for a crime,” Staton emphasized. “The defendant’s guilt must be proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be convicted.

“However, now that the arrests are made, my office will diligently and fairly pursue these cases. Drug cases are a priority prosecution for my office.

“The swift actions today help reinforce the message that if drug dealers come into our neighborhoods to sell drugs, we will go into their neighborhoods to arrest and prosecute them,” Staton said.

More arrests are expected, Aliff said.

Those arrested included the following:

 Troy Reed, 53, of Stephenson, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $25,000 cash bond.

 Jennifer Mullens, 31, Itmann, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $100,000 bond.

 Michelle Dalton, 25, Itmann, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $50,000 bond.

 Stephen “Pizza Cutter” Mullens, 30, Itmann, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $50,000 cash bond.

 Randall Bennett, no age, Herndon, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone).

 Danny “Jody” Grant Jr., 34, Bud, three counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $250,000 cash bond.

 Jerry Dickens, 41, Mullens, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana), $50,000 bond.

 Leonard “Frank” Goode, 64, Mullens, three counts of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $100,000 bond.

 Michael Shifflette Jr., 25, Corinne, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone) and two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxymorphine), $150,000 bond.

 Vernon “Buckeye” Newcomb, 56, Brenton, five counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $250,000 bond.

 Trampus Morgan, 37, Brenton, three counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $150,000 cash bond.

 Jimmy Mullins (Lane), 37, Brenton, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $80,000 bond.

 Daniel “Poe” Blankenship, 48, Brenton, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $100,000 cash bond.

 Robert Allen, 64, Pineville, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $50,000 bond.

 Darrell Trent, 36, Pineville, four counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone) and one count of conspiracy, $250,000 bond.

 Jessica Trent, 27, Pineville, one count of conspiracy, $25,000 bond.

 Patty “Nikki” Whitson, Lynco, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $25,000 bond.

 Jeremy Justice, 32, Lynco, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $50,000 bond.

 Brian Toler, 36, Lynco, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone) and two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $150,000 bond.

 Laney Shepherd, 41, Clear Fork, three counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $200,000 bond.

 Danny “Slave” Cline, 56, Clear Fork, three counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $150,000 bond.

 Keith Cline, 33, Clear Fork, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $100,000 bond.

 John Chambers, 29, Clear Fork, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $50,000 bond.

 Anthony Belcher, 46, Clear Fork, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $60,000 cash bond.

 Clarence “Bub” Salyers Jr., 39, Matheny, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), $50,000 cash bond.

 Angela Blankenship, 24, Oceana, one count of conspiracy, $150,000 bond.

 Roger Blankenship Jr., 40, Oceana, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone) and one count of conspiracy, $100,000 cash bond.

 Bobbie Chambers, 32, Oceana, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (diazepam) and two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $80,000 cash bond.

 Heather Chambers, 30, Oceana, one count of delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), $30,000 bond.

— E-mail: mcbrooks @register-herald.com

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