Suspects nabbed in area drug bust

THE BELMONT County Drug Task Force arrested several people Tuesday on charges of trafficking in drugs, some very near to a school.

The following people were arrested by the task force in what is being called a “very successful drug bust” and booked into the Belmont County Jail on trafficking in drugs charges.

  • Kirk Michael Halenar, 52, 4941 Jefferson St., Bellaire, on one count.
  • James Andrew Wade, 55, 3420 Monroe St./Apt. A., Bellaire, two counts.
  • William D. West, no age given, 53864 Pipe Creek Road, Jacobsburg, two counts.
  • Suzette M. Turkoly, 43, 3835 Grand Ave., Shadyside, one count.
  • Robert James Baker, 20, 3925 Grand Ave., Shadyside, two counts.
  • Brittany I. Schau, 23, 50 North 3rd St., Martins Ferry, five counts.
  • Debbie S. Kinney, 36, 118 Third Ave., Bellaire, two counts.
  • Matthew J. Turkoly, 55, 3835 Grand Ave., Shadyside, two counts.
  • Mikeel Samaniego, 25, Rustic Arms Apt., St. Clairsville, two counts.
  • Harrie Perko, 63, Commercial Dr., Bridgeport, two counts.

Two other people were arrested from Powhatan Point last week on drug charges.

Six cars as well as two homes have been seized with the task force seeking possession of them.

Belmont County Prosecutor Chris Berhalter said that the homes and vehicles were either used to transport the drugs or those arrested allegedly used the houses to sell the drugs out of.

Berhalter said of the drug bust, “This was a county wide arrest and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Task Force is working very hard to attack the problem of drugs in this county head on.”

Berhalter added, “What today’s bust means is that no drug dealer is safe anywhere in Belmont County.”

“The Belmont County Task Force is made up of police officers from Belmont County and they can only operate through the support of their respective departments and their towns,” Berhalter said. “They are able to accomplish all this work because of that support.”

Hull can be reached at