ROMNEY, W.Va. (DC News Now) — Federal indictments shut down two Baltimore-based drug trafficking organizations for trafficking drugs across Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. This was a result of ongoing efforts from the Potomac Highlands drug task force and several other law enforcement agencies.
“The threat that we face is much greater than ever before because the potency of the drug that is being sold now is greater than anything we’ve ever seen,” U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said.
According to Ihlenfeld, the large amounts of fentanyl being distributed to West Virginia have reached an all-time high. But ongoing investigations have led to more than 30 people involved in drug distribution being charged.
“We could not have brought these cases together and indicted 34 people and dismantle, dismantle these drug trafficking organizations without the work of all of these agencies coming together, collaborating, sharing information, leveraging resources, and, and working together,” Ihlenfeld explained.
Margaret Shrewsbury has lived in Romney West Virginia for thirty years and says the drug bust can only mean positive things.
“Certainly we’re better off attacking it at the dealer level rather than the user level,” Shrewsbury said. “I’m particularly concerned about the impact that the drug problem has on children.”
Others feel it won’t fix the overall problem.
“I think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done and I think it’s going to make things worse,” Romney resident Brad Stancil said.
“I think drug use in the community is always going to be here,” Hampshire County Prosecuting attorney. “So hopefully this sends a message to those in Baltimore County or any other county that’s coming in trafficking drugs, that eventually they’re going to be caught.”
Federal officials say the two drug organizations had been operating since 2020.