Drivers arrested on drug charges, two accused of weapons offense

by Trish Rudder

Morgan County police arrested several people last week on charges ranging from drug possession to weapons charges.

On March 4, Matthew J. Adams, 29, of Bridgeport, W.Va. was arrested and extradited by Sgt. Wade Shambaugh of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and driving with a suspended license.

An investigation by West Virginia State Police Cpl. V.E. Branham into the cause of a February 5 accident along U. S. 522 led to the charges.

Cpl. Branham had responded to the 3 a.m. single vehicle accident in the 8000 block of Valley Road that sent two adults and three children to the hospital. Branham traveled to Winchester Medical Center to speak with the driver and learned from Liana Adams, 30, that her husband Matthew J. Adams was the driver of the vehicle that crashed. One of the children in the vehicle also confirmed Matthew was the driver.

In attempting to verify the driver’s identity from the wrecked vehicle, Cpl. Branham searched the vehicle. He allegedly found a toolbox in the backseat holding a ceramic jar that contained marijuana buds and a clear plastic baggie of a substance that appeared to be methamphetamines. The officer also located a meth pipe by the front passenger seat and a lighter with the name Matthew James Adams. The white powder field-tested positive for meth.

Further investigation revealed that Adams’ license was suspended.

Two individuals were arrested on Sunday, March 10 on drug-related charges after a traffic stop in southern Morgan County.

While on patrol along Timber Ridge Road near Big Oak Tree Road, Deputy Dennis Jenkins saw a vehicle pass with a defective tag light. Deputy Jenkins stopped the vehicle at 8:30 p.m., and observed the passenger had a substance on his tongue.

According to criminal complaint filed in Morgan County Magistrate Court, the driver, Lexis T. Kerns, 23, of Berkeley Springs admitted that her driver’s license was suspended. A one year old child was a passenger in the back seat.

Kerns failed a field sobriety test and was arrested for driving under the influence with a minor, possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription, and driving while her license was suspended.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located a white powdery substance in a cellophane wrapper and a needle and two baggies containing a white powdery substance behind the driver’s seat in the area of the infant. Kerns and her passenger, Todd Heavner, denied knowing the items were there.

According to the complaint, Deputy Jenkins suspected Heavner had been smoking meth.

Michael T. Heavner, 25, of Augusta was arrested for possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription.

West Virginia State Police Cpl. V.E. Branham and Sgt. Wade Shambaugh assisted Jenkins in his investigation.

Weapons charge

On March 6, Andrew S. Sager, 49, of Berkeley Springs was arrested on the misdemeanor of being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to a criminal complaint filed in Morgan County Magistrate Court, Chief Deputy Johnnie C. Walter of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department observed two females and a male standing behind a black Corvette in the area of Harrison Avenue in Berkeley Springs.

According to the complaint, Sager had reached into the trunk of the vehicle and pulled out a black pistol grip long weapon and handed it to one of the females as the other female walked west on Truman Street. Walter stopped his cruiser and asked the female to place the shotgun on the sidewalk. The male was talking on the phone and began to walk west also.

The officer recognized Sager and asked if he was a convicted felon. Sager allegedly said he was but was not in possession of any guns. Walter then handcuff Sager and secured the shotgun.

During the interaction, Walter saw a while plastic bag on top of an open purse which contained two handguns. The purse also contained two boxes of .380 ammo and one partial box of .45 auto ammo.

Walter confirmed that Sager had been convicted of a DUI, third offense and sentenced to 1-3 years at Huttonsville Correction Center.

Penny S. Lynch, 46, of Berkeley Springs was also arrested with Sager and charged by Lt. Seth Place with misdemeanor conspiracy with Sager to possess the firearms. In his criminal complaint, Lt. Place alleged that Lynch knew Sager was a convicted felon and was not allowed, by law, to possess firearms.