NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. -- Authorities have charged 39 people from three states with dealing heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and oxycodone in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle.U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced the arrests Thursday and said charges have been filed in both state and federal courts.Twenty-five of the suspects are from Newell, Chester, Weirton, New Cumberland, Colliers and Wellsburg.The others are from Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Ihlenfeld says several local and regional task forces collaborated on the early morning sweep that he calls a major blow to the drug activity in Chester and Newell. Twenty-two were arrested. Seventeen suspects are still wanted.Ihlenfeld says this investigation began in September and included extensive surveillance and controlled purchases.He says Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher has attacked the local drug problem since taking office in January.