18 indicted for roles in drug trafficking organization

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - After a lengthy investigation, 18 individuals have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in Huntington.

Earlier Thursday, federal agents and officers from various law enforcement agencies executed arrest and search warrants in numerous locations in and around Huntington.

Federal agents also executed a search warrant last week in Columbus, Ohio, leading to the seizure of approximately 36 pounds of fentanyl and the arrest of Brayan Luces.

The indictment alleges that Brayan Luces frequently supplied William Raeshaun Byrd of Huntington with large quantities of fentanyl and cocaine.  The investigation revealed that Byrd often received multi-kilogram shipments of fentanyl and cocaine from Luces which were transported from Columbus to Huntington by vehicle.

The indicted states that Byrd supplied multiple individuals including Christopher Leon Vest with fentanyl and cocaine.  Vest in turn supplied Scott Lee Midkiff and Erica Antionette Kirker with fentanyl and methamphetamine. 

Byrd, Vest, Midkiff, and Kirker all distributed significant quantities of fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine to other dealers in the Huntington area. 

This trafficking organization utilized multiple residences throughout Huntington to store and prepare various drugs for distribution, according to the United State Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of West Virginia.

Seventeen of these individuals are charged with conspiracy to distribute a variety of drugs including fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, cocaine base (crack), oxycodone and heroin.

Other charges in the indictment include the distribution and possession with intent to distribute various drugs and using a telephone to facilitate a felony drug trafficking offense. The indictment was returned under seal on July 28, 2021 and unsealed today after the arrest of 14 defendants.

Officials say other individuals in the organization distributed and or assisted in the distribution of methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, cocaine base (crack), oxycodone and heroin in the Huntington area and other locations in West Virginia.

Those charged include:

  • William Raeshaun Byrd, 31, Huntington
  • Marvin Jerome Calvin, 40, Huntington
  • Mark Anthony Chandler, 30, Huntington
  • Kimberly Ann Combs, 44, Huntington
  • Robert Lamont Congleton, 41, Huntington
  • Reginald Jerome Hairston, 43, Huntington
  • Marcus Allen Johnson, 37, Huntington
  • Erica Antoinette Kirker, 34, Huntington
  • Brayan Luces, 24, Columbus, Ohio
  • Aaron Scott Midkiff, 36, Huntington
  • Edward Shane Midkiff, 34, Huntington
  • Scott Lee Midkiff, 35, Huntington
  • William Edward Nellons, Jr., 37, Huntington
  • Leonard Brandon Joe Rice, 34, Louisa, Kentucky
  • Dennis Wayne Snyder, 31, Hurricane
  • Ricky Lee Taylor, 57, Charleston
  • Christopher Leon Vest, 33, Huntington
  • Dillon Andrew Young, 28, Sissonville

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Southern West Virginia TOC-West Task Force consisting of the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Hurricane Police Department, and the Marshall University Police Department, with support from the West Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West.  The Ohio Highway Patrol, the Kentucky State Police, and the FBI and DEA in Columbus also assisted in the investigation.

Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph F. Adams and Courtney L. Cremeans are prosecuting this case for the government.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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