Man arrested after sting operation at Grafton business

TAYLOR COUNTY—A local business was the site of a sting, that ended with an arrest.

According to Taylor County Sheriff Terry A. Austin, Mehdar Saleh Abdo Salem, 25, of Princeton, is being charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance—Methamphetamine, after officers conducted an undercover buying sting at the Grafton Tobacco Vapor Outlet. 

“After the department received complaints that underage individuals were able to purchase items in the establishment, we decided to make a move,” Austin shared.

Officers conducted the undercover operation, and during the sting, both tobacco and THC products were sold to a juvenile and a person under the age of 21, according to Austin.

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Department was able to obtain and execute a search warrant for the electronics/security system utilized within the Grafton Tobacco Vapor Outlet, to obtain footage of other underage persons also purchasing these products. 

While carrying out the search of the establishment, located in Harmans Center, officers located a glass pipe with residue in a hallway. When asked about the smoking device, Salem admitted that it belonged to him.

According to Austin, paraphernalia and Methamphetamine were located within the Grafton Tobacco Vapor Outlet, after Salem showed deputies a room in which they located a clear plastic baggy on the floor containing a crystal-like substance.

The substance was field-tested and returned a positive hit as methamphetamine.
Salem was taken into custody and transported to the Taylor County Courthouse for further processing. During an interview, after the accused had been mirandized, he admitted to purchasing the smoking device and drugs for just $60.

Salem was transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail where he was being held on $1,500 bond.

Austin revealed that further charges may be forthcoming in the investigation.





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