Special Operation Nets Multiple Arrests, Drug Seizures

A total of 13 people have been arrested and are facing criminal charges after the Wheeling Police Department successfully held a special operation aimed at cutting down on drugs, prostitution, and other quality of life complaints in the downtown area.


Thanks to data analysis, supported by numerous complaints and observation of suspicious activity over the last several months, police initiated the operation in and around the Knights Inn, located at 949 Main Street.


“I am very pleased with the professional work of the WPD, especially our patrol division,” said Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger. “Under the leadership of Sgt. Jason Hupp, our officers were able to make a direct impact in downtown, with the goal in mind to continue the Wheeling Police Department’s core mission of making Wheeling a safer community.”

 Officers spent a total of 202 hours on the month-long task. In addition to the arrests, 14 citations were issued and various amounts of illegal drugs, and drug using materials, were confiscated, including:

  • Cocaine – 1.99 grams
  • Fentanyl – 2.24 grams
  • Heroin – 0.97 grams
  • Marijuana – 512.739 grams
  • Methamphetamine – 8.49 grams
  • Assortment of prescription pills 
  • Digital scales, needles, smoking devices


The operation also benefitted law enforcement by gathering information on other drug related crimes and activity through the area. Funding for the special operation, which totaled $7,001.23 was provided mostly by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the city of Wheeling. 

Felony Arrests:

David Arthur Hess, 58 of Wheeling
 Possession with Intent to Deliver 

Misdemeanor Possession Arrests:

Eric Lee Hercules, 39 of Wheeling
 Two counts of Possession of Controlled Substance
 Bryan L. Broomes, 43 of Wheeling
 Possession of Controlled Substance
 Tiffany Nicole Fazio, 32 of Wheeling
 Two counts of Possession of Controlled Substance 

 Edgar Eugene Hatten, 40 of Wheeling
 Two counts of Possession of Controlled Substance
 James Allen Lucious, 62 of Wheeling
 Possession of Controlled Substance 

DUI Arrest:

Michael Leander Gross 55, of Martins Ferry, Ohio
Aggravated DUI

Fugitive from Justice Arrests:

Beth Ann Davis, 38 of Wheeling
 Wanted for Failing to Appear for Possession Charge - Belmont County, Ohio

Joseph Micah Pepp, 28 of Pittsburgh
 Wanted for Arson - Allegheny County, Pa.

Brandy Lee Plunkett, 40 of Wheeling
 Wanted for Obstructing - Belmont County, Ohio

William Lee Stevens II, 30 of Wheeling
 Wanted for Obstructing

Maintaining/Operating a Drug Premise Arrests

Anand Arvind Patel, 37 of Wheeling
 Arrested for Maintaining/Operating a Drug Premise 

 Daniel Paul Wheeler, 30 of Wheeling
 Arrested for Maintaining/Operating a Drug Premise

The Wheeling Police Department remains committed to fighting criminal drug activity in downtown and in all city neighborhoods. Residents and visitors can report crime in various ways, either by telephone, 304-234-3664, anonymous online crime tips at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or the regional Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.

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