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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of West Virginia
William J. Ihlenfeld II, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Investigators Dismantle Fentanyl Drug Trafficking Network in Eastern Panhandle – 82 People Charged

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Eighty-two people have been indicted by a federal grand jury for a drug trafficking operation that distributed fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine in the Eastern Panhandle.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that an indictment was unsealed, charging individuals from Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia with drug trafficking. According to court documents, Gary Bernard Brown Jr., aka “Gee,” 38, of Baltimore, supplied others with large quantities of fentanyl capsules and powder for redistribution in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties. The investigation yielded 10 kilograms of fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, firearms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets.

“In a coordinated effort across three states, the FBI and our partners worked seamlessly to degrade the capabilities of a criminal enterprise that endangered the lives of our children and neighbors by pedaling illegal narcotics into our communities,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Mike Shanahan of the FBI-Pittsburgh Division. “Today, their illicit activities came to an end.”

After a large-scale arrest operation in the region, 11 of the 82 defendants are still at large. Investigators are searching for:

  • Charles Delroy Singletary, 43, of Baltimore
  • Jeffrey Lee Pullen, 52, of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
  • Benjamin Paul Knotts, 48, of Charles Town, West Virginia
  • Haile Madalynn Speaks, 21, of Charles Town, West Virginia
  • James Sanford, 39, of Martinsburg, West Virginia
  • John Ernest LeCluse, 39, of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
  • Shelby Elizabeth Thompson, 29, of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
  • April Dawn Wentzell, 36, of Ranson, West Virginia
  • Daniel Lee Corbin Jr., 35, of Martinsburg, West Virginia
  • Kendall Axavier Baker, 31, of Winchester, Virginia
  • David Lewis Pennington Jr., 20, of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

If you have any information, call 1-877-926-8332 or go to

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.

This case was a collaborative investigative effort that includes the FBI (Pittsburgh Field Division, Baltimore Field Division and Richmond Field Division); the Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Eastern Panhandle Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative; the West Virginia State Police; the West Virginia Air National Guard; the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office; the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office; Ranson Police Department; Martinsburg Police Department; Charles Town Police Department; the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; Stafford County Sheriff's Office (Virginia); Frederick County Sheriff's Office (Maryland); Frederick County Sheriff's Office (Virginia); Winchester Police Department; and the Clarke County Sheriff's Office (Virginia).

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

View the list of defendants.

View the indictment:
U.S. v. Brown et al. indictment


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