Two men from Western Pennsylvania are among nine people indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with a drug trafficking ring that has been operating for six years in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Johnston said Wednesday.
Kirk A. Fair, 31, of the Kittanning area, was among the seven people who were arrested yesterday morning. Others named in the indictment are residents of Ohio and New York.
Elliot G. Nelson, 31, of Pittsburgh, was one of two people named in the indictment who remained at large last night, authorities said.
The ring is accused of distributing cocaine and crack cocaine in the Weirton and Chester areas of West Virginia and the Georgetown area of Beaver County.
Investigators recovered roughly $50,000 in crack cocaine and $15,000 in drug proceeds and began forfeiture proceedings to obtain an additional $150,000 in drug proceeds, three vehicles, two handguns and a safe.
The indictment states that Matthew Wolfe, 25, of Wellsville, and Corey Estes, 31, of East Liverpool, both Ohio, began obtaining and distributing the narcotics in April 1999.
Nelson and Fair were caught on Aug. 18, 2004, by officers near Chester who found them carrying drugs they obtained from Estes earlier in the day in Wellsville, the indictment states.
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Pittsburgh.
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