Crime drops across northern West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Bill Powell says violent crime is down and the fight against illegal drugs is gaining traction in the Northern District of West Virginia since 2016.

“Violent crime specifically, which is a big emphasis of ours was noticeably dropping, Bridgeport, Martinsburg and Wheeling we’re down over 30 percent as far as violent crime is concerned.”

According to data from the FBI it’s the largest decrease since the 2013 report.

“Crime generally has been dropping in double digits across the district, not in every city, but overall a bid drop in crime across the district,” Powell said.

Powell says federal prosecutions are up more than 50 percent since 2016, largely due to an aggressive strategy in targeting and prosecuting dealers. Powell stressed that enforcement is only one part of a three-way approach that includes education/prevention and treatment.

“We’re picking up information from our various investigations that they all know we prosecute folks aggressively,”Powell said,”I think some of them now avoid coming here and the numbers reflect that.”

Powell says his team is looking to dismantle these drug distribution organizations from the top down, ultimately leading to the source.