Passenger in car arrested on drug charge


BUCKHANNON — A traffic stop led to an arrest for a drug-related charge by the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department.
John Thomas Koch, 20, of West Union, was arrested for possession with intent to deliver, a felony, and obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor, following an investigation.
On May 17, a vehicle was stopped by deputy Tyler Gordon with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department after being observed using a left turn signal improperly.
Gordon initiated a traffic stop near River Place Apartments.
The driver allegedly told Gordon that there was a marijuana smoking device along with a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle.
Koch, the passenger, initially provided a false name and date of birth about his identity but was identified as Koch, according to the criminal complaint. Koch said he couldn’t exit the vehicle due to leg pain, and EMS arrived and took him to St. Joseph’s Hospital for evaluation. After searching the vehicle, Gordon found a black duffel bag on the front passenger floorboard which contained a small cloth bag with a rock weighing .18 grams of a substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, two suboxone pills, several unused clear plastic baggies and a black digital scale. A device used for smoking meth was located in the crease of the front passenger seat.
Magistrate Kay Hurst set bond at $35,000.
If convicted, Koch faces one to five years and/or a fine of not more than $15,000 for possession with intent to deliver and up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $50 to $500 for obstructing an officer.
In other crime news:
p A Buckhannon man has been arrested for domestic battery after allegedly grabbing his wife and smashing her phone.
Marc E. Adams, 45, was arraigned before Magistrate Mike Coffman, who set bond at $20,000 and ordered him to have no contact with the victim or his children under the terms of the bond.
On July 3, Sgt. Tom Posey responded to an active domestic incident on Main Street in which the victim stated that a verbal altercation occurred and then Adams allegedly grabbed her arm and shoulder in an attempt to get her keys and cell phone, according to the criminal complaint. The victim had red marks on her right bicep and on her shoulder. After getting the phone, Adams allegedly smashed it on the pavement.  The victim and Adams are husband and wife, according to the criminal complaint.
If convicted, Adams faces imprisonment for not more than 12 months and/or a fine of not more than $500.
p Victoria A. James, 26, of Elkins, was arrested for several offenses of shoplifting over the past few months.
On Jan. 29, James allegedly went to Walmart in Buckhannon and took a set of sheets past the last point of sale without paying for it, and then took it to the return counter, where she received a gift card. The sheet set was valued at $44.84. James was allegedly recorded on the video surveillance. On that same date, she allegedly used the gift card to purchase items from Walmart valued at $16.69.
On Jan. 15, James allegedly came to the Buckhannon Walmart with another individual, grabbed an electronic clay pigeon thrower, and left the store with out paying for the item. The total allegedly shoplifted was $299.97.
On Nov. 16, 2016, James allegedly came into the store with another individual and took a Skull Candy speaker and two “pick three” meals from the deli, then left the store without paying.  The total was $98.64.
James was arrested for three counts of shoplifting first offense and two counts of false pretense, all misdemeanors.
Hurst set bond at $6,000 for all the charges.
Shoplifting first offense carries a possible fine not to exceed $250 and restitution in the amount of $50 or double the amount of merchandise, whichever is higher. The penalty for false pretense is a fine of not more than $2,500 and/or confinement in jail for not more than one year.
Patrolman First Class Joshua Wilson with the BPD is the investigating officer.
p Austin Daniel Jones, 23, of Buckhannon, was arrested for domestic assault, a misdemeanor, for an incident involving a gun and a sword.
On July 2, sheriff’s deputy Seth Cutright received a call of an active domestic incident on Murphy Station Road. DNR officer Tanner Collins was first on scene and had the parties separated when Cutright arrived. The victim, Jones’ father, stated that Jones was allegedly intoxicated and began getting hostile because he would not allow Jones to have his firearm. The victim began arguing with Jones over the firearm, and Jones allegedly grabbed a sword and threatened the victim.
Hurst set bond at $1,000.
If convicted, Jones faces confinement in jail for not more than six months and/or fined not more than $100.

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