Law enforcement and a service organization honored by U.S. Attorney at awards ceremony

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Brook County Prosecutor Joe Barki, receiving his award from U.S. Attorney Bill Powell.

WHEELING – Seven law enforcement entities and one community organization were recognized today for their outstanding work in the greater Wheeling area.

United States Attorney Bill Powell recognized the Marshall County Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, Brooke County Prosecutor Joe Barki, Ohio County Sheriff’s Cpl. John Haglock, the YWCA’s Wind Program, and several other law enforcement partners with U.S. Attorney Awards for their contributions to create safer communities.

“I have the great pleasure to work many law enforcement and other community based professionals.  We honor these individuals and groups today because they are “difference makers” in our communities.  They represent the best of us, and our communities are better because of their extraordinary work,” said Powell.

The Marshall County Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force was recognized for its work in a year-long investigation beginning around February 2017 and continuing through March 2018, involving the distribution of crystal methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin primarily in Parkersburg, Sistersville, Paden City and New Martinsville, WV and Columbus, OH. The drugs were originating from a street gang in Columbus, OH. The investigation resulted in the indictments of eight gang members or associates from Columbus, as well as 25 local WV redistributors.

This investigation dismantled the entire drug conspiracy operating in four federal districts, to include the Northern District of West Virginia, the Southern District of West Virginia, the Southern District of Ohio, and the Northern District of Georgia.

The Marshall County Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office the West Virginia State Police, Moundsville Police Department and the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

Brooke County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Barki is a prosecuting attorney who has made a significant contribution to a shared mission. Barki has been on the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton drug & Violent Crime Task Force board for the past 16 years. 

He has been the president of the Board for the past 7 years.  Before being the elected Prosecutor in Brooke County, he was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Ohio, Brooke, & Hancock Counties. 

During the past 16 years he has tirelessly prosecuted drug crimes in Hancock, Brooke, and Ohio Counties. Joe has also been a great collaborator on many of the drug cases in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia.

The YWCA of Wheeling does remarkable work. From addressing domestic violence to education to recovery and redemption, they offer a valuable and unmatched resource in the Ohio Valley.

The WIND Program, or Women Inspired in New Directions, is a place where women from all walks of life can recover in a supportive and safe environment. The WIND Program offers support to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, willing to assist us with community outreach efforts any time of year.

From the reentry simulations to the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, the YWCA is a true partner. The collaboration is beneficial to all involved.

Sgt. John Haglock with the Ohio County Sheriff’s Office is the school resource officer at Madison Elementary School. Madison has many at-risk children, many of whom have been removed from their biological parents because of abuse and neglect, all thanks to the drug epidemic.

Sgt. Haglock is a positive force in the school, always offering a caring smile and help with any student. He cares about the kids and their well-being and it shows in his interactions with the children every day. Earlier this year, he went above and beyond with three of the students.

In early March, three siblings were being removed from the home, John and his wife Stephanie didn’t hesitate to take in all three children. This couple, who have been married for more than 30 years, and have two grown children, offered to take in all three children as a temporary home, to ensure they could stay at Madison and stay together.

The ceremony was held in U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey’s courtroom and included remarks from U.S. Attorney Bill Powell and the presence of many local, state and federal law enforcement leaders from throughout West Virginia.