Mercer County, W. Va- A possible gang affiliation may be why one man is now dead, and why four people are currently behind bars.
"We've had several recent violent incidents with gunshots, attempted robberies for drugs. All of these have involved significant amounts of meth which is an extremely dangerous substance and it's over coming West Virginia, and taking it by storm," Prosecuting Attorney, George Sitler said.
"This is apparently apart of 'Dirty Money Gang's scheme to take over drug dealing in this particular area of southern West Virginia," he revealed.
Friday an arraignment was held for two of the suspects, Deliezha Gravely, and Deron Yarrell. They stood before Circuit Court Judge Mark Wills for a bond hearing and were denied that motion. Before appearing in court, Yarrell, was transported back to West Virginia after being arrested in Detroit.
Both men along with Andrea Fry, and Kaleb Merritt are being charged with felony first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and conspiracy relating to the December 2019 shooting death of Edward Duck III.
This case is just one in dozens that have happened within Mercer County in recent months. Sitler claimed that this region is in a state of war when it comes to gang activity, and making arrest such as this one doesn't ease his mind.
"There's a violent explosion of gang activity related to methamphetamine right now in Mercer County. We had an incident this morning where an officer was shot at by an individual with the same set of facts and everyday we have another violent incident," Sitler said.
"It's really becoming a problem that affects everybody else because you have to think these people are running up in houses so if a shoot out happens innocent people will probably get hurt. We had the robberies at the gas stations in which BP was hit several times and then someone tried to rob the Go Mart," Mercer County Sheriff's Department, Detective Matthew Horn said.
The prosecuting attorney is even asking citizens to vote for changes within the legislators office.
"I've asked John Shott to introduce to the legislator to increase the penalty for possession to deliver methamphetamine from the current 1 to 5 year sentence to 3 to 15 years," Sitler said.
All four in this case are currently being held at the Southern Regional Jail. If found guilty all four suspects could face life in prison.