Toronto heroin bust largest in city history

TORONTO An extended drug investigation by several law enforcement agencies into drug dealing led to the largest heroin bust ever Friday in the city.

Lodged in the Jefferson County Jail today are Fredrick McGowan, 40, Apartment 1, 809 Market St.; and Jennifer Lynn Barnhart, 29, last known address of Weirton. Both are expected to be charged with felony drug possession sometime Monday, according to Capt. Rick Parker of the Toronto Police.

“At 6:45 p.m. Friday, after a several-week long joint drug investigation by the Toronto Police, Jefferson County Drug Task Force and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, officers executed a search warrant at Apartment 1, 809 Market St.,” said Parker. “Officers recovered approximately 100 grams of heroin with an approximate street value of $40,000; approximately 15 grams of crack cocaine; marijuana; cash money; and drug paraphernalia.”

According to Parker, officers also seized and impounded two rental cars that were used in the transporting of narcotics.

“This was a difficult investigation,” Parker said. “There was not a lot of traffic to and from the residence from addicts that we normally have from a drug house. Our investigation lead us to believe the residence was a safe house used to stash and distribute the narcotics. Surveillance vehicles were able to track cars to and from the Steubenville area.

“Officers from our department and the Jefferson County Drug Task Force were conducting around the clock surveillance of the residence when the investigation intensified within the last 24 hours,” Parker continued. “We got a break in the case late Thursday night and were able to obtain a search warrant Friday afternoon.”

Parker said area citizens played a part in the drug bust.

“Once again we were receiving information from our good, property-owning, tax-paying citizens of Toronto who will not tolerate this type of activity in their neighborhood,” he said. “To get this type of results from an investigation it takes a team effort, and that’s what we had today. We welcome anyone with drug information to contact the Toronto Police, the Jefferson County Drug Task Force and the Jefferson County Sheriff. All information is kept confidential.”