Man arrested for firearms, drug charges


BUCKHANNON — A Buckhannon man has been arrested for several offenses after two different traffic stops in a six-week period.

Franklin Lee Tefft, 42, was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, two counts, misdemeanors; prohibited person in possession of a concealed firearm, two counts, felonies; false registration, two counts, misdemeanors, and possession of meth, a misdemeanor.

On Sept. 21, deputy Tyler Gordon with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department initiated a traffic stop on a Chevy S10 on the Industrial Park Road in Buckhannon for equipment violation of defective lighting and the vehicle displaying an improper registration, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office.
Upon speaking to Tefft, the driver, Gordon asked permission to search the vehicle.
Gordon observed the passenger, who was not named, attempting to conceal something prior to asking the two out of the vehicle.
Gordon found a blue waterproof containing with several needles and a baggie containing approximately 1.2 grams of methamphetamine. Tefft allegedly admitted he owned the meth.
Gordon also located a loaded .22 caliber handgun concealed in the door of the pick-up truck which Tefft allegedly said he had forgotten was there but admitted that the gun belonged to him.  The license plate had an expired 2018 sticker.
On Nov. 3, Gordon observed a Mitsubishi Eclipse traveling north on Route 20 in French Creek traveling above the posted 40 mph and advised by the WVSP to have been involved in a felony credit

Gordon initiated a traffic stop and detected the strong odor of marijuana as he approached the driver’s window, according to the criminal complaint. Tefft was identified by Gordon as the driver. Upon search of the vehicle, Gordon found two baggies containing a green levy substance believed to be marijuana in the pant pocket of the defendant.

Gordon also located a small caliber handgun in the door compartment.
“The defendant was advised on Sept. 21, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm in this state, for the purpose of being an unlawful user of controlled substance(s),” Gordon wrote in the complaint.
The license plate came back to a 2019 registration sticker although the license plate expired in 2017.
“The defendant knew he had not been given a title for the above vehicle and it had not been registered properly in the state, according to Gordon’s complaint.

There was also a passenger in the vehicle who was unnamed in the criminal complaint.
Magistrate Mike Coffman set bond at $75,000.

Being a felon in possession of a firearm carries confinement in jail for 90 days to one year and/or fined $100 to $1,000 on each count; prohibited person in possession of a concealed firearm carries confinement for up to three years and/or fined $5,000 on each count. False registration carries one to five years confinement and a fine between $500 to $5,000 on each count. Possession of firearm carries confinement for up to 90 days to six months and/or fined not more than $1,000.

 

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