BUCKHANNON — A Tallmansville man faces several new felonies following his capias arrest at a traffic stop late Thursday night.
Joseph Brian Kelley, age 28, was reportedly driving a black 2001 Ford Taurus on the night of February 4, when he was pulled over at approximately 11:30 p.m. by Deputy Cole Bender of the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department for his front left headlight being out. As Deputy Bender began to approach the vehicle, Kelley opened the driver side door and revealed several Glock handgun magazines in the door panel. Kelley allegedly began to act erratic, asking the officer why he’d been pulled over and saying that he “cannot go to jail.”
According to court documents, Deputy Bender ordered Kelley to exit the vehicle, but he refused to let go of the steering wheel. The officer grabbed Kelley’s wrists to prevent him from reaching for anything and when asked if he had a gun, the defendant replied, “No, just shoot me.” When Kelley was pulled out of the car and patted down, the report said a .45 caliber Hi-Point handgun with five rounds in its magazine was found concealed in the waistband of his pants.
After running an ID check from the DMV, the officer was advised that Kelley had a Circuit Court capias, and that the vehicle’s registration belonged to a different 2002 Ford Taurus. Upon further investigation, Deputy Bender noticed that the registration plate had been painted on to look like a 2020 registration sticker.
The officer also reportedly located a small tin can in the center console containing a nickel, shards of glass, cotton balls, a piece of a straw, a metal scooping device, small plastic baggies along with several wax papers often used in the packaging and delivery of controlled substances and shards of a white crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine. While searching the vehicle, Kelley allegedly remarked that if he had found the tin can, there was nothing else in the car to worry about; however, the officer also located within the vehicle the following: a box of .410 shotgun shells containing 13 out of 20 shells, two digital scales with a white powdery residue on the insides, one unopened digital scale, one cut straw and one needle containing suspected methamphetamine.
Kelley was arrested on the Circuit Court capias, then transported to the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office for processing before being taken to Tygart Valley Regional Jail for booking. The suspected methamphetamine from the tin can was sent to the WV State Police Laboratory for Drug Identification.
According to the criminal complaint, Kelley has multiple prior felony convictions for the manufacture or delivery of multiple controlled substances and illegal possession of firearms. If convicted on the felony charge of illegal firearm possession, Kelley faces confinement in a state correctional facility for no more than five years, a fine of no more than $5,000, or both. If convicted on the felony charge of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, he faces imprisonment for between one and five years, a fine of no more than $15,000, or both. If convicted on the felony charge of prohibited possession of a concealed firearm, he faces imprisonment for no more than 10 years, a fine of no more than $10,000, or both. If convicted of false evidences, forgery of title and registration, Kelley faces a fine of no more than $1,000, imprisonment for no more than one year, or both.
Kelley remains at TVRJ in lieu of a combined $20,000 bond and he must submit to random drug and alcohol testing upon release.