'Operation Blue Haze' Results in Conviction of 52 People - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

'Operation Blue Haze' Results in Conviction of 52 People

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One of the largest investigations, known as "Operation Blue Haze", conducted in North Central West Virginia has resulted in the conviction of 52 people on weapons and drug-trafficking charges, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. Attorney Northern District of W.Va.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld, II, announced Monday that all of the cases from the massive May 2012 federal indictment have been resolved in either federal or state court.

Clarksburg Federal Grand Jury indicted 53 people in the spring and since that time, 51 of those indicted pleaded guilty in federal court and one pleaded guilty in state court, according to the news release.

"Cases of this magnitude can have a long term impact on community, and I believe that the neighborhoods of Fairmont are safer because of the hard work of the officers and agents in this case," said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. "As a direct result of this investigation some very dangerous people have been removed from our streets and it's due to the tremendous efforts of the ATF and the Fairmont Police Department."

Officials said the case involved sophisticated undercover tactics and resulted in the recovery of 21 firearms and over $100,000 worth of illegal drugs.

The investigation, known as "Operation Blue Haze," target street-level, mid-level and upper-level drug dealers in Marion County and the case yielded pistols, revolvers, various rounds of ammunition, a ballistics vest, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, marijuana, and various types of prescription pills, according to the news release.

Three of the people convicted have been sentenced and the remaining defendants are scheduled for sentencing in the next several months, officials said.

One of the cases was dismissed post-conviction due to the health of the defendant. Officials said that defendant has since passed away.

To view a list of the 52 defendants convicted, click the link to the right of the story.

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