One year anniversary of historic drug bust 'Project Parkersburg'

PARKERSBURG, W. Va. (WTAP) - October 11, 2019 marks one year since 'Project Parkersburg', one of the largest drug takedowns in West Virginia and Ohio history.

Officials with the U.S. attorney's office, the FBI, and state and local law-enforcement in Ohio and West Virginia carried out multiple drug busts throughout Wood County that resulted in the dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing methamphetamine and heroin.

The long-term, joint investigation resulted in at least 29 individuals being charged in federal and state court, the seizure of 150 pounds of methamphetamine and, what was originally believed to be four pounds of heroin, have been determined to be comprised of nearly 291 grams of fentanyl.

The drug bust also resulted in the seizure of cash and vehicles allegedly used to transport drugs.

Investigators say the 150 pounds of methamphetamine seized in September in Dayton, Ohio, as part of the investigation is a record for both Ohio and West Virginia.

In addition to federal authorities, local agencies assisting in the investigation included Parkersburg police, the Wood County prosecuting attorney's office, the West Virginia State Police, the Wood County sheriff's office, Vienna police, the Parkersburg Narcotics and Violent Crimes Task Force and the West Virginia National Guard.

The success of 'Project Parkersburg' has set the bar on the crackdown on drugs in West Virginia and Ohio. Parkersburg Police Chief Joseph Martin says drugs have slowly crept back into the area since the bust, but law enforcement officials are constantly taking steps to get rid of them.