TAYLOR COUNTY—The Taylor County Sheriff’s Department carried out a search warrant in an investigation that resulted in the arrest of multiple individuals.
According to Sheriff Terry A. Austin, the department carried out an extensive investigation, documenting traffic flow and activities at a home on Tolley Road in Taylor County, with assistance from the West Virginia State Police Grafton and Harrison County detachments.
The examination lead to the issuance and execution of a search warrant of the residence on Tuesday, March 23, at approximately 9:30 p.m.
During the search, officers were able to seize multiple items, including 647.05 grams of a white crystal-like substance, that field tested positive for methamphetamine. According to a criminal complaint filed by Sheriff Austin, the approximate street value of the methamphetamine is $64,700.
In addition, multiple sets of digital scales, blue paper sleeves containing a powder substance, a baggie containing a powdery rock-like substance and drug paraphernalia were confiscated.
The department also took a .45 caliber handgun, which had the serial numbers removed, two cell phones, $3,412 in US currency and other miscellaneous items into their possession during the search of the home.
Rachel Marie Golden, 35, of Bridgeport, the homeowner, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver.
Carlos Raydell Fernandez, 29, of Philadelphia, PA, was arrested and charged with conspiracy and delivery of a controlled substance.
He was further charged with obstructing after officers alleged him to be lying about the location of monies that they believed to be tied to the drugs found in the home.
According to Austin’s complaint, Fernandez reported that he had money in a bookbag in a hotel room, just up the road. Through the investigation, the bookbag and money were found in a rental car being utilized by Fernandez, secured in a hidden compartment.
The vehicle was taken to a secured lot to be further searched, pending a warrant.
Both Golden and Fernandez were transported to the Taylor County Courthouse to be processed.
While there, officers spoke with Golden, who revealed that the methamphetamine found in her residence belonged to Fernandez. She said she had an agreement with him that he could sell meth from her home in exchange for some of the drug for her own consumption.
She further revealed that she would call individuals to her residence to buy methamphetamine from Fernandez.
The complaint states that traffic in and out of the residence had been thoroughly documented and that visitors to the home stayed only three to five minutes at a time.
This information, coupled with Austin’s experience in monitoring drug traffic, led him to believe that Golden and Fernandez conspired together to deliver controlled substances from the residence.
During the investigation, four other individuals were also arrested in the vicinity of the residence and included: Aaron Alexander Noel, who was charged with driving while under the influence of an impairing substance; Christina Marie Copen for possession of a controlled substance—methamphetamine; Julie Mae Smith charged with possession of a controlled substance—methamphetamine; and Robert Joseph Cottrill, who was charged as a prohibited person with a firearm.
Golden was transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, where she is currently being held on a $45,000 cash or surety bond amount. Fernandez was also taken to Tygart Valley Regional Jail but has posted bond.
All parties are innocent until proven guilty and are awaiting hearings in the matter.