Police find meth lab in car


BUCKHANNON   A Buckhannon man has been arrested for operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab, a felony.

Benjamin J. Dickerson Sr., 31, was stopped Oct. 22 by Deputy Tyler Gordon with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department for driving left of center, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office. 

Gordon observed small strips of tubing commonly used in the operation of a clandestine drug lab, and Dickerson allegedly attempted to hide the tubing from the officer. Dickerson was asked to step out of the vehicle, and Gordon saw a large bottle containing a substance that appeared to be salt under Dickerson’s feet and a box of salt under the seat where Dickerson was. A further search of the vehicle yielded a non-active clandestine lab under the seat, according to the complaint. Gordon asked the occupants of the vehicle to whom the black zippered bag belonged, and Dickerson allegedly claimed it as his.

Inside the bag was more tubing and what appeared to be drain cleaner, according to the criminal complaint. A West Virginia State Police clandestine lab technician arrived on scene to secure the evidence.

Magistrate Mike Coffman arraigned Dickerson on the felony and set bond at $125,000.

If convicted, Dickerson faces confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than two years nor more than 10 years or a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $25,000, or both.

In a separate case, Bradley Wayne McCauley, 35, of Buckhannon, was arrested for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, a felony. On Oct. 24, Trooper P. J. Robinette with the Buckhannon detachment was conducting traffic patrol and observed a silver Kia Rio with a defective brake light, according to the criminal complaint. Robinette initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and made contact with the driver, McCauley. The driver stated he did not have a valid driver’s license and provided Robinette with a Tennessee ID card. Robinette observed McCauley to be allegedly acting nervous, his hands shaking, voice trembling and failing to maintain eye contact.

When Robinette asked McCauley why he was nervous, McCauley allegedly handed him a pipe containing marijuana. Robinette asked McCauley to step out of the vehicle. In a search of the vehicle, Robinette allegedly found a backpack on the passenger seat with three small baggies of marijuana weighing .5 grams each, two small baggies of a white crystal like substance which tested positive for meth, four small baggies of mushrooms and a digital scale.

Magistrate Kay Hurst set bond at $50,000 cash or surety.

If convicted, McCauley faces confinement for not less than one year nor more than 15 years and/or a fine of not more than $25,000.

Finally, Khori Wayne Simmons, 22, of Buckhannon, was arrested for grand larceny, a felony.

Hurst set bond at $30,000 cash or surety.

On Oct. 24, Simmons allegedly took a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire from Colten Beckner on Thelma Avenue in Buckhannon. Simmons had been staying with the victim but took the vehicle in the middle of the night without permission. The vehicle is valued at $1,000. Simmons allegedly admitted to taking the vehicle. Deputy Tyler Chidester with the sheriff’s department is the investigating officer.

If convicted, Simmons faces confinement in prison for one to 10 years, or in the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine of not more than $1,500.

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