More than 200 pounds of meth seized in largest bust in W.Va. history; more suspects sought (2024)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS) — UPDATED, 3:55 p.m., 3/22/23

Dozens of people were indicted and taken into custody Wednesday in the “largest methamphetamine seizure” in West Virginia’s history, officials said.

Will Thompson, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, said “significantly over 200 pounds” of methamphetamine was seized during search warrants, as well as 28 pounds of cocaine and about 20 pounds of fentanyl.

A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said 30 people were federally indicted in the investigation. Another 24 people were charged in state criminal complaints. Charged in a three-count federal indictment are:

* Antonio Lamar Jeffries, 34, of St. Albans

* Michael Allen Roberts, Jr., 40, of St. Albans

* Karl Lamont Funderburk, 37, of Hurricane

* Mark Leslie Lively, 56, of Kenna

* Scott Jeremy Savage, 46, of Nitro

* Ryan Keith Kincaid, 46, of South Charleston

* Todd Tyler Snead, 57, of Waynesboro, Virginia

* Tres Avery Davis, 34, of Charleston

* Telisa Rene McCauley, 31, of Charleston

* Deayria Eyshay Willis, 24, of Charleston

* John Paul Loudermilk, 60, of Charleston

* Timothy Allen Loudermilk, 63, of Charleston

* Keith Royal Goode-Harper, 31, of Charleston

* Nicole Leigh Fierbaugh, 44, of Charleston

* Latesha Lashae Nappier, 29, of Charleston

* Jeremy Rayshad Walker, 34, of Charleston

* Charles Norman Pannell, 43, of Charleston

* Les Van Bumpus, 34, of Charleston

Several suspects in the investigation were seen being taken into the FBI building on Virginia Street in Charleston early Wednesday morning.

The indictment charges 14 of the defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from November 2022 to March 2023 at or near Charleston, according to the news release. The indictment attributes 500 grams or more of methamphetamine to Jeffries, Davis, McCauly, Roberts and Snead and 50 grams or more to Funderburk.

The indictment charges six of the defendants with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and six of the defendants with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, all from December 2022 to March 2023 at or near Charleston.

Charged in a separate, one-count federal indictment are: Alexandria Jasmine Estep, 21, and Robert Dewayne Miller, 35, both of Charleston; and Perry Johnson, Jr., 29, and Dashounieque Lashay Wright, 26, both of Detroit, Michigan.

The indictment charges all four defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from October 2022 to January 2023 at or near Charleston, the news release said.

A spokesperson for the FBI said eight people remain at large following Wednesday’s search. Three of the people – Deayria Eyshay Willis, Perry Johnson Jr. and Dashounieque Lashay Wright – face federal charges in the investigation.

Five people are wanted on state charges in the investigation: Tammy Alexandria Belcher, Zachary Allen Harrison, Jermain Santell Hill, Michael Gill Jeffries and David Dean Holmes II.

Officials said if you see those who are still wanted, you should contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or the Charleston Police Department at 304-348-6400. The public is asked not to approach the suspects as they may be dangerous.

Thompson said the search warrants were the culmination of a more than eight month investigation into several tips. Charleston police chief James “Tyke” Hunt credited community members for reporting issues they were seeing, which led to a lot of the arrests.

“These cases start with a simple tip – and those tips can be anonymous – but you get enough folks calling in with problem areas that need to be investigated and we begin looking into those areas and this is what we come up with,” Hunt said.

Thompson credited the collaborative effort among several agencies to make the process a success.

“I believe one of the primary reasons I was chosen to be U.S. Attorney was my approach on how to deal with controlled substances,” Thompson said. “This case is a perfect example of that approach.”

Eight people were previously indicted in the investigation on conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine: Jasper Wemh, 38, Justin Allen Bowen, 40, Richard Allen Bowen, 62, Kimberly Dawn Legg, 49, Larry Wayne Legg, 55, and Stanley Aaron Burkes, 62, all of Charleston; McKenzie Bowen, also known as McKenzie Myers, 24, of Belle; and Nicholas Bradford Confere, 35, of Mammoth.

Thompson said he believed the previous record for methamphetamine seizures in the state was 150 pounds.


Multiple suspects are in custody in connection with a federal investigation that has been unfolding since early Wednesday morning in Charleston.

Federal officials were tight-lipped on the details of the arrests but said more information is expected to be released later Wednesday afternoon during a news conference at the Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse. The news conference is scheduled at 3 p.m. and will be shared in the story below when it begins.

In an advisory sent around 11 a.m., a spokesperson for U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said an announcement would be made at the afternoon news conference regarding a major drug trafficking investigation that had resulted in the "largest seizure of methamphetamine in West Virginia history."

Eyewitness News crews have witnessed several suspects being brought into the FBI building on Virginia Street in handcuffs by different law enforcement agencies, including the Charleston Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, West Virginia Natural Resources Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Witnesses in the area said the FBI, which sits adjacent to Starbucks and Courtyard by Marriott, has been packed with law enforcement officers since early in the morning.

Eyewitness News has a crew at the scene and will have the latest information as it is released.

More than 200 pounds of meth seized in largest bust in W.Va. history; more suspects sought (2024)


What was the biggest drug bust in West Virginia history? ›

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday it made the largest methamphetamine bust in West Virginia history. The DOJ charged 30 people with allegedly distributing more than 200 pounds of meth, alongside guns and other drugs, over a period of seven months, dubbing the operation "Operation Smoke and Mirrors."

What was the largest meth bust in Oregon history? ›

EUGENE, Ore. —On September 15, 2021, a coordinated law enforcement operation targeting the leader and several associates of a Lane County drug trafficking cell led to the seizure of 384 pounds of methamphetamine, the largest single methamphetamine seizure in Oregon State history and valued at over a million dollars.

What was the large meth bust in Texas? ›

CBP officers seize 6.5 tons of meth in Texas border town bust, largest ever at a port. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 6.5 tons of methamphetamine in a bust in Eagle Pass, a Texas border town, the agency said Thursday. The methamphetamine is valued at more than $117 million, officials said.

What drugs are in West Virginia? ›

The illegal distribution of controlled prescription drugs (CPDs), heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine pose the greatest threats to West Virginia, though cocaine, crack, marijuana, and new psychoactive substances (NPSs) such as synthetic cannabinoids are also available.

What was the largest meth bust in West Virginia? ›

Kincaid is among 32 individuals indicted as a result of Operation Smoke and Mirrors, a major drug trafficking investigation that has yielded the largest methamphetamine seizure in West Virginia history.

What was the largest meth bust at the border? ›

EAGLE PASS, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Field Operations officers seized six and a half tons of methamphetamine valued at more than $117 million, the largest ever at a port of entry, in a single enforcement action.

What are the top 3 drugs abused in Oregon? ›

Oregon ranks first in the nation for methamphetamine and prescription opioid misuse. Alcohol is the most misused substance in the state, with a little over 12% of Oregonians suffering from alcohol use disorder.

What was the largest meth seizure in the US? ›

The meth that was seized is the largest ever encountered by law enforcement in a single trafficking attempt at a port of entry and is valued at more than $117 million.

What was the biggest drug bust in Michigan? ›

$4.5M worth of fentanyl found in Detroit

Livonia police say fentanyl with a street value of about $4.5 million was found at a Detroit home after an investigation stemming from a traffic stop led officers to a suspected drug dealer.

Where was the drug bust in West Virginia? ›

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Eighty-two people have been indicted by a federal grand jury for a drug trafficking operation that distributed fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine in the Eastern Panhandle.

What was the largest drug bust in the border? ›

EAGLE PASS, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Field Operations officers seized six and a half tons of methamphetamine valued at more than $117 million, the largest ever at a port of entry, in a single enforcement action.

How many people died from overdose in West Virginia? ›

In 2021, there were 1,253 opioid overdose deaths in West Virginia, which accounted for 83% of all drug overdose deaths in the state. Across the U.S., opioid overdose deaths accounted for 75% of all drug overdose deaths in the country in 2021.

Does West Virginia have an opioid epidemic? ›

Recently, West Virginia has unfortunately had the highest number of opioid-related overdose deaths in the nation. This crisis has ravaged the state, destroying thousands of families.


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