Marshall Police assist in Huntington drug bust

Marshall University Police Department assisted the Huntington Police Department and multiple other state and local officials in the city-wide raids to takedown drug traffickers Tuesday.

Led by Huntington Police, multiple organizations sent officials to help the cause, including Cabell County Police and multiple federal agencies to help protect the people of Huntington from those distributing drugs like heroin and fentanyl.

“We’re here to help in any way we can to keep our students safe and to keep our community safe,” Chief of MUPD Jim Terry said.

The raid was conducted on Manget Peterson located in Huntington and his brother Willie Peterson of Detroit. The family has reportedly trafficked excessive amounts of heroin and fentanyl from Detroit to Huntington for years, but the raid has reportedly caused the organization to fall apart.

With multiple locations raided throughout the city, locations in Detroit and one location in Ohio, 15 federal targets were arrested as of Wednesday afternoon. In total, roughly 90 people are expected to face charges in West Virginia and Michigan.

This takedown has students and community members taking a moment to relax and hope for a better future. Cody McCune, a sophomore criminal justice major focusing on law enforcement, said he hopes the community will be able to grow out of the drug use that has taken so many members of the community captive.

“This was a network and a large one at that,” McCune said. “The disruption of it will hopefully lessen the effects of the hold that drugs have on the people of Huntington.”

The raids and arrests were results from Project Huntington, a movement U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart announced in March to stop the opioid epidemic from growing.

“We will no longer tolerate drug dealers, drug traffickers, violent criminals or illegal guns on the streets of the city of Huntington,” Stuart said in a release explaining the movement. “Our goal is simple– to make Huntington the ‘Safest City in America.’”

Terry said that while he does not believe many of Marshall’s students use heroin or fentanyl, he said he thinks the drug bust was beneficial for the overall community.

“We’re all part of the community,” Terry said. “I don’t think a lot of our students are drug users, but we all feel the effects of it. And this makes the whole environment safer.”

Sarah Ingram can be contacted at [email protected]