WVNews reports that William G. “Bill” Chappell, 31, one of two Cartersville men charged in what authorities say was a Georgia-to-West Virginia meth pipeline — gave up his right to a probable cause hearing in federal court. The online news report says Chappell wants a detention hearing at a later date. Members of his family traveled from Georgia for Tuesday’s hearing in federal court. The story says “Chappell clasped his hands to the back of his head at multiple times during the hearing as the realization set in that he will have to remain behind bars likely at least through the rest of this week and this weekend. Authorities say the second Cartersville suspect, Terrick Robinson, would “bring in the drugs, while Chappell, with guns, served as protection for Robinson, the drugs and the proceeds.”
Wednesday’s story does not mention any other connections to Georgia.
The arrests of two Cartersville men in the Fairmont, W. Va., area on significant drug charges have been posted by competing news organizations in that state. Please note: We are aware of the proximity of the home of Courtney Dubois (Fairmont, W. Va.) and the arrest of two Bartow County men in that area. There are no charges below related to the Dubois case.
Monday afternoon, the GBI says while it is working jointly with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, that agency would be the one to make any comments. Also, this no comment from Stacy Bishop of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in northern West Virginia: “The United States Department of Justice does not comment on anything outside of the public record. Thanks for your inquiry.”
From reports in The Times West Virginian: Fairmont, W. Va. — A 31-year-old Georgia man has been charged with possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver following a search Sept. 5 in White Hall, according to a criminal complaint. The complaint states that William Gregory Chappell of 57 Bates Road, Cartersville faces the felony charge. According to the complaint filed by a White Hall Police Department sergeant, a search warrant was executed in a room at the Red Roof Inn, and Chappell was allegedly in possession of approximately six pounds of crystal methamphetamine and 250 grams of cocaine, along with scales and packaging materials. In addition, Chappell allegedly had a loaded pistol on his person when officers made entry. Court records show Chappell’s bail was set at $50,000, which wasn’t posted. He is lodged in North Central Regional Jail.
The WV News has an updated look at the story, with the second arrest: Two Georgia men have been arrested by the Greater Harrison Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, accused in a large-scale conspiracy to repeatedly bring methamphetamine to the Mountain State for redistribution. Terrick Robinson, 33, of Cartersville, and William Gregory “Will” Chappell, 31, were charged in federal court by the commander of the Greater Harrison Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, who worked in close concert with State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the commander of the Three Rivers Drug Task Force. Robinson was in court Monday in Elkins for his arraignment, a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing.
Represented by Tom Dyer, Robinson pleaded innocent, and gave up his right to the arraignment and detention hearings in an appearance in Elkins before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi. Dyer reserved the right to petition at a later date that his client be released from jail. Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci Cook, appearing by video from Clarksburg, said the case must be presented to a grand jury within 30 days, and discovery would follow. Chappell is due for the same hearings Tuesday. He remains jailed.
The men became targets of an ongoing investigation by the Greater Harrison and Three Rivers drug task forces when a trooper for Mountaineer Highway Interdiction Team South investigated an incident involving a large amount of meth found in a White Hall hotel, according to an affidavit filed by the Greater Harrison commander, a Bridgeport police lieutenant.
The ensuing four-month investigation went from White Hall, to Bridgeport, to Jane Lew, to Fairmont, and even to Elkview and Charleston, with sources of information and confidential informants employed, and Drug Enforcement Administration special agents from both Northern and Southern West Virginia assisting, according to the affidavit filed by the Greater Harrison commander.
Surveillance was conducted in a Jane Lew hotel that was indicative of drug trafficking, according to the commander’s affidavit. Robinson reportedly would bring in the drugs, while Chappell, with guns, served as protection for Robinson, the drugs, and the proceeds, the commander asserted, citing sources.