Three admit guilt in multi-state drug ring

In February, an investigation by the Mon Metro Drug Task Force resulted in a major drug bust leading to federal drug trafficking charges against 25 individuals, 12 of whom are listed as West Virginia residents.  

The 79-count indictment also included individuals from Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey. 

Last week in federal court, three of the West Virginians accused admitted to their roles in the organization that was supplying large amounts of methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine to Morgantown and the north-central West Virginia area. 

Jordan Spadafore, 33, of Morgantown; Stephanie Miller, 47, of Charleston; and Olivia Gibson, 21, of Ona, pleaded guilty last week to federal drug charges.  

According to court documents, the three were working with Rodney Johnson, 46, of Philadelphia, the alleged leader of the group, who investigators say was supplying significant quantities of illicit drugs to Monongalia County. 

Spadafore pleaded guilty to distributing a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine in exchange for money in June 2023. A second charge for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances was dropped in the plea deal. 

Miller also worked out a plea agreement with prosecutors, pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in October 2023. 

Charges against Miller for conspiracy and fentanyl and cocaine possession with intent to distribute were dropped. 

Both Spadafore and Miller could face sentences of up to 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, or both. They will also be subject to supervision upon release. 

Gibson pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a drug premises from August-October 2023 at 5000 Domain Drive in Morgantown. The apartment was used to unlawfully store, distribute and use fentanyl and methamphetamine. 

Gibson could face up to 20 years in prison, $500,000 in fines, or both followed by supervised release for her role in the drug ring. 

When U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced the bust in February he said, “the arrests have led to the dismantling of a sophisticated operation that was causing large quantities of dangerous drugs to be distributed in our region.” 

Sandra Tennant, of Morgantown, and Bobbie Jo Phillips, of Morgantown, reached plea agreements in April. They will be sentenced later this year. 

The trial date for the remaining defendants, including William Durnal, of Elkins; Jason Davis, of Belington; Jennifer Clapper, of Morgantown; Jeffrey Marsh, of Morgantown; Jamie Purtee, of Morgantown; Joshua Noel, of Elkins; and Steven Sharps, of Kingwood, is currently scheduled for Oct. 1. 

U.S. Magistrate Michael John Aloi is presiding over this case with Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda Wesley prosecuting. 

This case was investigated by the Mon Metro Drug Task Force which consists of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the West Virginia State Police, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office, the Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Morgantown Police Department, the WVU Police Department, the Granville Police Department, and the Star City Police Department.