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For Immediate Release

July 12, 2019

M. Ulrich, Deputy U.S. Marshal

Northern District of West Virginia (304) 267-71792;

U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
Martinsburg Man, on the Run Since January, Arrested in Clarksburg by Marshals Task Force

Mountain State Fugitive Task ForceMartinsburg, WV – On July 10th, members of the U.S. Marshals Service led Mountain State Fugitive Task Force located and arrested a Martinsburg man in Clarksburg, WV who was the last fugitive on the run from a drug conspiracy indictment handed down in federal court in March 2019.

Michael Payton, 34, was arrested in the 1700 block of Junkins Avenue in Clarksburg. Payton initially provided officers with a false name but eventually admitted to his true identity.

After an investigation by the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Payton was one of 16 people indicted on March 19th in federal court for conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine.

When Michael Payton learned he violated his federal probation and was under a new indictment, Payton went into hiding. Early efforts to locate him in the state’s eastern panhandle, as well as Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, were unsuccessful.

As the investigation progressed, the Marshals Service developed information Payton had fled to the Clarksburg WV area and shifted their efforts.

Payton had his initial appearance and arraignment in Clarksburg and was transported back to Martinsburg to face the charges.

“Individuals committing serious crimes many times think they can flee the area or state they committed their crimes in to avoid capture,” said U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of West Virginia J.C. Raffety.

“They greatly underestimate the relentless nature and resources our Deputies have to find them.”

The mission of U.S. Marshals fugitive task forces is to locate and apprehend the most violent and dangerous fugitives and to provide assistance to other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in support of their fugitive investigations.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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