UPDATE 11/18/2014 3:25 PM
Two Wood Co. people were sentenced Tuesday for dealing heroin.
23-year-old Cordaro Johnson of Davisville will spend the next 44 months in federal prison and 28-year-old Zina Wakefield of Parkersburg
will be on probation for the next three years.
Parkersburg Police say the two were part of a heroin ring between Wood and Washington Counties. They say the ring extended to north central Ohio and as far west as Chicago.
Johnson and Wakefield both pleaded guilty back in August.
Three other people in the ring have spent time behind bars and another awaits her sentencing in February.
UPDATE 10/28/2014 2:05 PM
A woman pleads guilty in federal court for throwing out heroin and cocaine before police searched her apartment in Parkersburg.
Gerri Parker pleaded to using communication facility to facilitate heroin and cocaine trafficking.
Last October Parker threw away a bag of drugs and paraphernalia outside of her apartment - where a drug dealer was expected to pick up the bag - before police could search her home.
But Parkersburg Police say they watched it all happen and took the bag.
This is linked to the heroin trafficking ring from Marion, Ohio and Chicago.
UPDATE 8/5/2014 10:45 AM
You might recall a major drug bust here the valley last year with connections to Chicago and Marion, Ohio.
Five people were arrested in what investigators call a major heroin ring.
Monday two of those charged pleaded guilty.
22-year-old Cordaro "Chops" Johnson and 27-year-old Zinia Wakefield pleaded guilty to distribution in federal court Monday.
Both admit to selling heroin to a Parkersburg informant last fall.
They face up to 20 years in prison.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 18th.
Also involved in this ring were Daquarri Coats, Keith Irons and Marion Felder.
They all pleaded guilty earlier this year.
UPDATE 5/27/2014 4:00 PM
A man accused of selling heroin in Parkersburg pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge.
Marion Felder, of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, is accused of selling heroin to a confidential informant working with police in Parkersburg.
Police say he sold it three times between September and October of last year.
Felder admitted to coming to Parkersburg from Marion, Ohio to sell the heroin.
He faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on September 8.
UPDATE 5/20/2014 10:20 AM
He's charged with selling heroin in one of the area's biggest drug busts.
Monday an Ohio man pleaded guilty.
Last October Parkersburg Police arrested four out of five suspects in a Chicago, Illinois and Ohio based heroin drug ring.
Then in November they found the 5th person - 25-year-old Keith Irons - hiding in a closet in Marion, Ohio.
Monday in court Irons admitted to selling heroin to an informant working for the Parkersburg Police.
He faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced August 26th.
Two men involved in one of the biggest heroin busts the area police have seen are indicted in federal court.
Marion Felder and Keith Irons are both federally indicted for selling heroin in the Parkersburg area.
Felder, from Upper Sandusky Ohio, faces three different counts from September to October of last year and Irons, of Marion Ohio, faces two counts from October.
Parkersburg Police and task force arrested the two, along with five others, all believed to be traveling from upper Ohio and Chicago to the Valley to sell large amounts of heroin.
Marion and Irons each face up to 20 years in prison on each count if convicted.
A woman admits to selling nearly two thousand dollars worth of heroin in one drug deal.
Daquarri Coats pleads guilty in federal court after a major drug bust last October.
Parkersburg Police and task force arrested Coats, along with five others, all believed to be traveling from Chicago to the Valley to sell large amounts of heroin.
The 21 year old faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Sentencing is set for June 5.
UPDATE 10/25/2013 4:55 PM
We've heard about meth, bath salts and other types of illegal drugs and how they've kept local law enforcement busy.
But after Thursday's raids, we know heroin may be the biggest drug problem of all.
Area law enforcement agencies are happy with the results of Thursday's drug busts in both Wood and Washington Counties.
But they realize it doesn't wipe out the problem completely.
As is also the case in other West Virginia cities, the drug trade is coming in from major metropolitan areas, such as Detroit and Chicago.
And the reason it's so widespread is that heroin, even considering it's illegal, is costing less than ever.
"I think the markets dictate the price, and I think it's lucrative enough for these guys to come and establish themselves as drug producers or drug providers," says Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin.
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says the problem is just as bad on the Ohio side of the river, adding the drug trade doesn't know the river separates the two states.
For that reason, the drug task forces in both states work very closely with each other, as they did with Thursday's raids.
Parkersburg Police say one of the suspects from Thursday's 19th Street raid, Keith Irons, remains at large.
UPDATE 10/25/2013 6:00 AM
The names of those individuals taken into custody in Thursday's drug bust have been released.
The Parkersburg Police Department says Marion Alonvo Felder, Zinia Wakefield, Daquarri Tamar Coats, Gerri Raye Parker and Cordaro Robert Karl Johnson were all taken into custody Thursday.
All five are charged with one or more counts of delivery of a controlled substance or conspiracy to deliver.
All five individuals were processed at the Parkersburg Police Department and arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court yesterday.
They all failed to post bond. They are currently in the Wood County Holding Center awaiting transport to the North Central Regional Jail.
Investigators continue to look for Keith Irons. He currently has two active felony warrants for delivery of a controlled substance.
"The amount of damage that they have been doing in regards to the amount of heroin that has been hitting the streets in Wood County is phenomenal, the amount of money that they are making is phenomenal," explains Sgt. Greg Collins.
Months of investigation lands one of the biggest drug busts Parkersburg, and even this area, has ever seen. "Its involved a lot of surveillance, a lot of controlled drug buys from our targets," continues Collins.
These targets, five main suspects, accused of bringing mass amounts of heroin from Chicago to right here in the Valley.
Police say its clear the pay out weighs the risk. "These are people that aren't from here and don't care about any of the quality of life issues here and they come here to make money. They are making triple the money they are paying for heroin in Chicago or Detroit, they are making triple that here."
Ten agencies teamed up for the investigation... Including both the Parkersburg and Washington Co. Task Forces and even federal agents.
"The amount of time that we've put in together, the amount of intelligence that we've shared, the amount of hours that we have worked late at night, all these agencies. It has made a big difference and we hope that the arrests we make today will cripple the organization."
While officials hope these arrests will make a dent in the drug problem throughout the Valley they say its clear the fight still continues.
"We certainly aren't going to stop investigating," says Collins. "We are going to continue on and we want to see some of them in custody and some of them are very significant so we are going to keep digging."
UPDATE 10/24/2013 5:00 PM
One of the most significant and largest heroin busts Parkersburg has ever seen.
It involves an investigation with several months of surveillance.
According to Sgt. Greg Collins with the Parkersburg Police Department, officials had warrants for five suspects.
Thursday began with a traffic stop near Washington and Latrobe Streets with one of the more significant suspects.
After taking him into custody officials hit 2811 Dudley Avenue - one of the confirmed locations for drug distribution - which led to another suspect taken into custody.
CPS was on scene as well.
Shortly after a third suspect was arrested.
The investigation continues as officials look for the last two suspects.
"The amount of damage they have been doing in regards to the amount of heroin that has been hitting the streets in Wood County is phenomenal," says Sgt. Collins. "The amount of money they are making is phenomenal. These are not people that are from here and don't care about any of the quality of life issues here."
Sgt. Collins said he is very proud of the work on both sides of the river and all the agencies involved have put in.
A total of ten agencies have been collaborating to get these arrests, including the FBI.
Authorities are on the scene of a drug bust at 2811 Dudley Avenue in Parkersburg.
Parkersburg Police say three people have been arrested on heroin charges and they are looking for two more people.
We have a reporter on the scene and we will bring you more information as it becomes available.