NEW CUMBERLAND - Eight of the 39 people charged last week in a large drug sweep have been indicted by the Hancock County grand jury on multiple drug charges.
The indictments, returned earlier this week (see sidebar), ensure that the people who were arrested on state charges will be fully prosecuted, Hancock County Prosecutor Jim Davis said.
"You have to indict them to do anything with them," Davis said.
The state charges filed in Hancock County Magistrate Court last week were enough to make the arrests, but the cases were then bound over to the grand jury, which meets three times a year in Hancock County. Their cases will be adjudicated in Hancock County Circuit Court.
The eight people are:
The arrests - and subsequent indictments - were the result of a multi-state, six-month investigation by the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug Task Force into the illegal sale of heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone in Hancock County.
Investigators conducted extensive surveillance and used confidential informants to make controlled drug purchases over the course of several months. Some of the charges were the result of a federal grand jury that met in Wheeling and returned three indictments with a total of 94 drug-related counts.
Also this week, the grand jury:
Graham, originally arrested in February, allegedly harmed the girl while staying at her mother's house in December, Davis said. Graham's release on bond was met with protests outside Hancock County Courthouse on March 2. He currently is being held at Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville.
Most of the defendants will make their first court appearance on Thursday before Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Martin J. Gaughan.