Law enforcement, public servants honored by U.S. Attorney

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Twenty law enforcement officers and public servants from across the Northern District of West Virginia were recognized today for their outstanding work by United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld.

The U.S. Attorney Awards are given annually to honor exceptionalism in criminal investigations and community service. This year’s ceremony was held at the United States Courthouse in Clarksburg.

Outstanding Financial Crime Investigation

Special Agent Jim Rogers and Operational Support Technician Dottie Pugh, both of the FBI, and Sgt. David Simmons, of the West Virginia State Police, were honored for their work in U.S. v. Phillip W. Conley. Conley defrauded West Virginia churches, pastors, and others of nearly $5 million by persuading victims to invest in false ventures such as student housing construction, high-yield fixed income securities, oil and gas technology, mineral rights, and timber leasing. He was sentenced to 87 months in prison.

Outstanding Investigative Effort

Special Agent in Charge Colin Davis and Resident Agent in Charge Keith Vereb, of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, and Special Agent Ashley Archibald, FBI, were honored for their efforts in the case of U.S. v. Reta Mays. Mays, a nursing assistant, administered lethal doses of unprescribed insulin to eight patients at the VA hospital in Clarksburg. Mays entered pleas of guilty to seven counts of second-degree murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder and was sentenced to seven terms of life imprisonment plus 20 years.

Outstanding Firearms Investigation

Special Agent Mark McNeal and Special Agent Troy Jeffers, FBI; Special Agent Eric Orta, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; and Inspector Ryan Amstone, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, were honored for their work in U.S. v. Timothy John Watson. Watson produced devices that converted firearms into fully automatic weapons and sold them to followers of the Boogaloo Movement. Watson was convicted and sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment.

Outstanding National Security Investigation

Special Agent Justin Van Trump and Special Agent Peter Olinits of the FBI, and Special Agent John Nocella, of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, were honored for their work on U.S. v. Jonathan and Diana Toebbe. The investigation revealed that Jonathan Toebbe, who was an engineer with the U.S. Navy, stole restricted data related to the nuclear submarine program and attempted to sell it to another country. Mr. Toebbe was convicted and sentenced to 19 years, 4 months. Mrs. Toebbe – who conspired with her husband – was sentenced to 21 years, 10 months.

Outstanding Firearms Conspiracy Investigation

Special Agent Seth Cox of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force were honored for the case of U.S. v. Greenfield, in which the defendant recruited multiple straw purchasers in the Northern District of West Virginia to purchase firearms that were later trafficked to Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Drug Investigation

Task Force Officer Jeremy Jenkins of the Mountain Lakes Drug Task Force was honored for his work in U.S. v. Waitman Frederick in which he led an investigation into methamphetamine distribution in Glenville, Gilmer County. The efforts of TFO Jenkins led to an indictment against 11 defendants, each of whom was convicted.

Outstanding Financial Fraud Investigation

Corporal Don Wolford of the West Virginia State Police was honored for his work in the case of U.S. v. Bradley Glaspell in which a contractor defrauded seventy people in West Virginia and Pennsylvania for total loss to the victims of more than $600,000. Glaspell was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Outstanding Violent Crime Investigation

Special Agent Jared Newman, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives was honored for his work in U.S. v. Vickers and Oliverio in which the defendants were convicted of an attempted carjacking. Oliverio was sentenced to 121 months in prison and Vickers to 104 months.

Outstanding Drug Task Force

The Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force was honored for its exceptional investigative work and community outreach efforts. The Task Force was instrumental in the prosecution of U.S. v. Luna, a case involving money laundering and the distribution of large amounts of heroin, cocaine base, and cocaine hydrochloride. The drug trafficking organization operated appliance stores in Hagerstown, Maryland and the Dominican Republic as a mechanism to launder drug proceeds.

Outstanding Youth Advocate

Jessica Watt Dougherty was honored for her unwavering care and empathy for the students at Madison Elementary School in Wheeling.

Outstanding Community Drug Prevention

The Monongalia County Quick Response Team was honored for its innovative efforts to prevent drug overdose deaths and help those struggling with substance abuse disorder to receive the help they need to get well.

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