5 indicted in heroin ring that led to fatal overdose in Virginia

Drug was brought in from Maryland to Shenandoah County, indictment claims

By Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager
Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved

HARRISONBURG, Va. - Five people are facing charges in connection with a heroin trafficking ring that brought the drug from Maryland into Virginia, killing one person, according to U.S. attorney Thomas Cullen.

Craig Allen Kidwell, 52, and Norman Lynda Kidwell, 54, both of Mount Jackson, Virginia, each face a charge of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of heroin resulting in death and resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of distribution and possession with the intent to distribute resulting in the death of one person and the serious bodily injury of another.

James Harold Lichliter, 52, of Maurertown, Virginia, Stacy Allen Marston, 42, of Woodstock, Virginia, and Jonathan Dale Neice, 42, of Woodstock, were each charged with one count of distribution and possession with the intent to distribute resulting in the death of one person and the serious bodily injury of another.

According to the indictment, beginning around June 2017, a Maryland-based drug-trafficking network began selling controlled substances to Virginia-based drug traffickers, who, in turn, transported those drugs to Shenandoah County for redistribution.

The Kidwells allegedly went to Maryland multiple times to obtain the heroin which sometimes was mixed with fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl.

Once they returned, they would redistribute the drugs to Lichliter, Marston and Neice who would then sell the drugs to others across the county, according to the indictment.

The indictment claims that as a direct result of the defendants’ drug distribution activities, two overdoses occurred, one of which resulted in a person's death.

“Over the last two years, more Americans have died from fatal opioid overdoses than the total number of troops killed during the Vietnam War,” Cullen stated.  “In order to mitigate this public health crisis, we will aggressively prosecute street dealers and corrupt health-care providers whose unlawful activities directly result in harm to others.  I am particularly grateful for the hard work and determination of our state and local partners in Shenandoah County in bringing everyone involved in this deadly distribution chain to justice.  I also appreciate the valuable assistance provided by our federal partners in Maryland in this case, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland and the Drug Enforcement Administration.”  

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