Six Tucker County residents were indicted on methamphetamine-related charges this week in federal court.
The residents were named in one 39-count indictment returned Tuesday by a federal grand jury sitting in Elkins, according to a press release issued Thursday from the office of William J. Ihenfeld II, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia.
Names of the Tucker County residents - as well as two other individuals - were withheld until Thursday because some of the indictments were sealed, Chris Zumpetta-Parr, a spokeswoman for Ihenfeld's office, said Wednesday. Zumpetta-Parr did not indicate which indictments were sealed or why.
Destry Seth Poling, 26, of Parsons; Shannon David Flagg, also known as "Shane," 40, of Hambleton; Susan Chloe Ridley, 47, of Parsons; Misty Autumn Grafton, 25, of Hambleton, Eric Scott Pennington, 29, of Parsons; and Michael Luther White, 22, of Thomas, were charged with varying counts of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from November 2012 to June 2013, in Tucker, Randolph, Upshur and Preston counties.
Poling faces five counts; Flagg faces 14 counts; Ridley and Grafton face six counts; Pennington faces 10 counts; and White faces two counts.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, other charges include the possession of material used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of pseudoephedrine to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and attempted possession of pseudoephedrine to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Each defendant faces penalties of up to 20 years in federal prison; however, under federal sentencing guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The following indictments were also returned by the grand jury this week:
- Chad Frederick Arbogast, 34, of Belington, was named in a seven-count indictment charging him with distribution and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and heroin. If convicted, Arbogast faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each count.
- Michael J. White, 45, of Clarksburg, was named in a four-count indictment charging him with one count of stealing public money and three counts of false statement. If convicted, White faces up to 10 years imprisonment on the public money charge and up to five years imprisonment on each of the false statement charges.
Charges contained in indictments are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt; defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.