Individuals charged with drug possession after traffic stops


TAYLOR COUNTY—Possession charges send two Grafton residents to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, while an arrest looms for one defendant.

John Michael Thompson, 25, is being charged with driving under the influence of an impairing substance and possession of methamphetamine, a schedule-II controlled substance. Both charges are misdemeanors.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Deputy Dylan Johnson of the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department, while on patrol in the Parkview area of Taylor County, he witnessed a vehicle stopped inappropriately in the oncoming lane of travel.

He said that another oncoming vehicle was forced to stop to keep from striking the vehicle. The officer pulled up alongside the stopped car and informed the driver, later identified as Thompson, that he could not block the oncoming lane.

The driver was told to pull forward, out of the lane, and then a traffic stop was started. During the stop, the officer noted that Thompson’s pupils appeared to be dilated and that his eyes looked glassy and bloodshot, indicating the use of an impairing substance.

When asked if he had anything illegal in the vehicle, Thompson admitted to having methamphetamine and told the officer where it could be located. He produced for the deputy a box from the passenger’s seat and opened it.

The deputy reported in the complaint that the box contained two containers, both containing a crystal-like substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine.

According to the deputy’s report, Thompson admitted to having used methamphetamine approximately one and a half hours prior to the traffic stop and that he had also used the drug two days prior to that.

He further admitted that he had smoked marijuana approximately an hour before the stop. Field Sobriety Tests were administered by the deputy, and the defendant failed all three.

Thompson was taken into custody and transported to Grafton City Hospital for voluntary drug testing. He was then taken to the Taylor County Courthouse for further processing, before being transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

He was being held on a $7,500 cash or surety bond and has since posted that bond and been released.

Richard Matthew Mooney, 31, is being charged with misdemeanor possession of Suboxone without a valid prescription. Suboxone is a schedule-III controlled substance.

While patrolling in the Simpson area of Taylor County, Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Sponagle and Deputy Johnson initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle having a defective registration light, according to a criminal complaint.

The driver of the vehicle claimed he was heading to the hospital, motioning to the pregnant passenger in his backseat. Mooney was also in the vehicle as a passenger.

The female passenger told the officer that she had been labeled as critical and was concerned that her child was soon to be born.

The deputies noted that the vehicle’s gas gauge showed that the car was on empty and a light on the dash also indicated a low fuel level. The driver also stated that they were traveling from Pruntytown to United Hospital Center in Clarksburg.

Although the story wasn’t adding up, they allowed the vehicle to leave the stop so that the pregnant passenger could seek medical attention.

The deputies followed the vehicle with concerns that it might eventually run out of gas before making it to the hospital. Only after a few miles, the vehicle stopped so that the female could vomit.

According to the complaint, the officers then alerted Emergency Medical Services to the scene to aid Johnson.

While waiting on the ambulance to arrive on scene, Mooney admitted to one of the officers that he had a Suboxone strip in his possession. He told the deputy that he had been issued a prescription for the medication, but he did not have it on him.

Mooney was advised to bring his prescription into the Sheriff’s Department. The officer asked the defendant to step out of the vehicle, and when he did so, two empty hypodermic needles fell to the ground.

During the stop, the female also revealed that she had a Suboxone strip in her possession. When asked to turn it over to the officers, she grabbed a bag, but EMS arrived on scene.

EMS workers told the officers that they did not want the patient taking the bag with her do to the risk of illegal drugs being in it. According to the complaint, the officer recovered methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia from the bag.

Both Mooney and the female were allowed to leave with EMS so that she could receive medical treatment and he could be there to possibly see the birth of his child.

The complaint states that Deputy Johnson is charging the female with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, and after Mooney failed to provide the officer with a prescription for Suboxone, he was charged with possession, as well.

Mooney was taken into custody later and was transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, where he is currently being held on a $3,000 cash or surety bond.

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