A Jane Lew man was one of 21 people indicted and subsequently arrested in a sweep of Harrison County on Tuesday.
Joseph Boyd Swiger, 30, was arrested on three federal charges. The first charge alleges that he conspired to possess with the intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. The other two charges allege that he distributed heroin within 1,000 feet of the Monticello Avenue playground in Clarksburg on April 22, 2010, and May 11, 2010.
"It is my sincere hope that these charges will help us turn the corner in our efforts to keep heroin and other illegal drugs out of north-central West Virginia," U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said.
If convicted, Swiger faces a federal prison sentence of between five and 40 years and a $2 million fine on the conspiracy charge, along with a 40-year sentence and $2 million fine for the other two charges.
The 21 people were indicted on 65 counts, including mostly heroin and weapons charges. Officials said 17 guns were sold to informants, and 14 of those weapons were confirmed to have been stolen.
"We were able to take firearms off the street that could have been used in violent crimes," said Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent Paul Vido. "As a result, the community is much safer today."
The investigation began about a year ago when residents in the North View neighborhood in Clarksburg began complaining of heroin being trafficked in the area. The heroin is believed to have come from Pittsburgh, officials said.
Contact John Wickline by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.