Traffic stop nets three-felony arrest


BUCKHANNON — A Buckhannon man was arrested early Thursday morning for three felonies including illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

John A. Absher, 51, was arrested for possession of a concealed firearm and two counts of driving while license revoked for DUI third offense, all felonies.

On Dec. 27, Upshur County Sheriff’s deputy Tyler Gordon observed a black Pontiac Grand Am bearing a registration that should have appeared on a 1998 Toyota Corolla, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office. Gordon initiated a traffic stop as it pulled into a residence on Island Avenue and identified the driver as Absher. Absher had immediately opened the driver’s door and reached in the floor but was ordered out of the driver’s seat by Gordon, according to the criminal complaint. Absher allegedly tried to tell Gordon that he was not driving and that “someone else was driving.”

Insider Absher’s pocket, Gordon located a small piece of marijuana and a baggie of methamphetamine that Absher stated was “ice.”

Gordon also found a loaded Hi-Point 9mm concealed in the floorboard of the driver’s side. Absher stated he received the firearm from a friend earlier in the evening to sell and got scared and placed it in the floorboard so Gordon wouldn’t see it.

On Nov. 2, Gordon observed Absher operating a motor vehicle from Buckhannon Crossroads onto Route 20 near Sheetz in Buckhannon and knew from a notice from the Mountain Lakes Drug and Violent Crime Unit that the defendant had been seen driving the above vehicle multiple times in recent history and his driver’s license was revoked for a DUI.

Gordon initiated a traffic stop on the Pontiac Grand Am and identified the driver who admitted to Gordon that his driver’s license was in fact revoked for DUI conviction since Oct. 27, 2015.

After searching the vehicle, Gordon allegedly found a large shard of crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine in a pill container connected to the keys.

Absher is a convicted felon for obtaining money under false pretenses and driving while license revoked for DUI third offense and also has a domestic battery conviction.

Absher also has priors for driving while license revoked for DUI on Nov. 30, 2010 in Upshur County, July 8, 2016 in Lewis County and an arrest on July 12, 2017 in Randolph County with unknown conviction date.

Magistrate Kay Hurst set bond at $10,000 cash or surety for each count of driving while license revoked for DUI third offense and $20,000 cash or surety for possession of a concealed firearm.

If convicted, Absher faces up to three years or fined not more than $5,000, or both, for possession of a concealed firearm and confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than three years and fined not less than $3,000 nor more than $5,000 for each count of driving while license revoked for DUI third offense.

In a separate case, Samuel E. Jones, 26, of Buckhannon, was arrested for domestic assault, a misdemeanor, stemming from a Dec. 22 incident.

Jones had an argument with his mother at a residence on Murphy Station Road and allegedly threatened his mother while holding a hatchet in his hand, according to the criminal complaint in the magistrate clerk’s office.

The mother tried to go to another room to get her cell phone to call for help but Jones allegedly blocked her way and wouldn’t let her through. However, the victim was able to get away from Jones and run to a neighbor’s house to call 911, according to the criminal complaint.

Cpl. Theron Caynor is the investigating officer. Hurst set bond at $15,000. If convicted, Jones faces up to six months in jail and/or fined not more than $100 for the misdemeanor.

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