Parkersburg man gets 25 years in federal prison for role in drug ring

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 6:06 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WTAP) - A Parkersburg man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison Wednesday for his role in a large-scale, multi-state drug-trafficking conspiracy taken down by authorities in late 2018.

Terrence McGuirk, 51, who was jailed after the historic “Project Parkersburg” drug bust, was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.

“Project Parkersburg was a game changer – it netted the largest meth bust in West Virginia history and resulted in more than a dozen defendants being prosecuted by my office,” United States Attorney Mike Stuart said.

According to Stuart’s office, McGuirk admitted to distributing large amounts of meth to dealers in Parkersburg between July and September 2018, when he was arrested in Dayton, Ohio, where he had gone to pick up his share of a shipment of more than 120 pounds of meth.

In his plea agreement, McGuirk acknowledged pooling his money with other co-defendants to buy meth from a supplier in Phoenix, Arizona. McGuirk distributed the drugs to dealers in Parkersburg, Clarksburg, and as far away as Florida.

Stuart’s office said agents executed several search warrants, including one at McGuirk’s mother’s residence in Kissimmee, Florida, where they seized more than $65,000 cash, which he admitted was the proceeds of drug trafficking.

McGuirk was considered a leader and organizer of the conspiracy and it was determined that he had attempted to obstruct justice by threatening witnesses, and filing or threatening to file frivolous bar complaints against the prosecutor as well as his own attorneys and attorneys representing co-defendants.

The “Project Parkersburg” investigation, which led to 29 people being charged in federal and state courts, involved the FBI, Parkersburg police, Dayton, Ohio, police, and the Parkersburg Narcotics and Violent Crime Task Force. Authorities seized 121 pounds of ICE meth, six kilograms of cocaine, 217 grams of heroin and 478 grams of fentanyl in the bust.

Eleven of 14 people charged in federal court have been sentenced after pleading guilty. Three others, Aurelius Edmonds, Michael Rhodes and Antoine Terry, are scheduled to be sentenced later this year.

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