19 charged in Virginia drug-trafficking ring


    (Central Virginia Regional Jail)<p>{/p}

    HARRISONBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Federal, state, and local officials say 19 people have been arrested on federal drug-trafficking, firearms, and other charges after a months-long, multi-agency investigation.

    "The modern opioid epidemic is one of the most vexing problems faced by law enforcement and public-health officials," U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen stated today. "As U.S. Attorney, I am committed to prosecuting individuals and organizations who distribute Fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine and working with our federal, state, and local law-enforcement partners to stanch the flow of these deadly drugs into Western Virginia. But while I firmly believe that vigorous enforcement is critical to addressing this epidemic, we also support meaningful treatment initiatives for those suffering from drug addictions and targeted outreach to prevent others from having their lives destroyed by these deadly substances."

    The indictment, unsealed Wednesday, charges 18 people with conspiring to distribute and possess, with the intent to distribute, heroin and methamphetamine.

    It alleges that certain members of the conspiracy trafficked more than 1,000 grams of heroin and more than 500 grams of meth from around January 2016 - December 2018.

    Brandon Wayne Eppard is charged with maintaining a property for the purpose of unlawfully distributing a controlled substance. That property was located at 160 Shenandoah Street in Mount Jackson

    Merle Stephens was charged with one count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He was arrested at a motel in Mount Jackson on December 7.

    The indictment also charges four individuals, Michael Mullins, Jeffrey Craig Mays, William Ray Shoemaker, and Christopher Thomas Trimble, with firearms possession charges in addition to their drug charges.

    Charged in the indictment are as follows:

    • Anthony Benjamin Testerman, 25, of Mount Jackson, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.
    • William Ray Shoemaker, 45, of Edinburg, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, three counts of distributing and possession with the intent to distribute, methamphetamine, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
    • Jeffrey Craig Mays, 32, of Mount Jackson, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
    • Katie L. Harlow, 37, Mount Jackson, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and three counts of distribution of methamphetamine.
    • Javon Eugene Cook, 26, of Mount Jackson, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, one count of felon in possession of a firearm, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, one count of distribution of methamphetamine, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
    • Brooke McIntosh, 27, Timberville, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine
    • Jonathan Lewis Hodges, 30, of New Market, Va. – one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute, methamphetamine.
    • Kenneth J. Webb, 32, of Woodstock, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and three counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute, methamphetamine.
    • Amanda Jean Mullins, 30, of Edinburg, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and two counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute, methamphetamine.
    • Michael Mullins, 32, - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, one count of felon in possession of a firearm, one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute fentanyl.
    • Dietrich M. Day, 28, of Dumfries, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute fentanyl.
    • Christian Michael Burhop, 27, of Basye, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, three counts of distribution of heroin, one count of distribution of methamphetamine, and one count of distribution of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.
    • Christopher Thomas Trimble, 27, of Fishersville, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
    • Brandon Wayne Eppard, 28, of Mount Jackson, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and one count of maintaining a premises for the purpose of unlawfully distributing, possessing, and using controlled substances.
    • Tiffany Bowman Lopez, 30, Quicksburg, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, two counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute heroin and four counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl.
    • Erica Lam, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.
    • Justin Tyler Mumaw, 26, of Edinburg, Va., - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and two counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
    • Dana Marie Silvious, 29, Front Royal, Va. - one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, two counts of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute fentanyl, and one count of distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute heroin.

    The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, the RUSH Drug Task Force, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, the Mount Jackson Police Department, the Woodstock Police Department, the Front Royal Police Department, the Timberville Police Department, and the Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Grayson A. Hoffman will prosecute the case for the United States.

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