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W.Va. teen facing drug charge

August 17, 1998

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Charles Town teenager was charged Sunday with possession of crack cocaine and marijuana, according to West Virginia State Police.

But, despite a record of similar charges, the teen had to be released to a parent because the Eastern Regional Juvenile Detention Center didn't have room for him, said Trooper C.C. Wathen.

The boy was arrested near Crane's Meadow subdivision around 4 p.m., said Wathen, who was in the area for a reported accident.

While looking for the accident, Wathen said he saw the boy on a street corner.

Talking to Ranson Police Patrolman B.E. Mason a little later, he learned police had received several complaints that someone matching the boy's description appeared to be selling drugs in the area, Wathen said.

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When Wathen went back and asked the teen for identification, he got off the bicycle he had been riding and turned his back to Wathen, putting his hands under his waistband, Wathen said.

Fearing there was a weapon, he said he asked the boy several times to take his hands out from his pants but the boy didn't respond.

Mason helped him by getting the teen to remove his hands, Wathen said.

A plastic bag was sticking out of his pants, he said.

The bag contained 21 pieces of crack cocaine with an approximate street value of $630, Wathen said.

A subsequent search revealed less than 15 grams of marijuana, he said.

The teen was released to his father because the juvenile detention center was at capacity, Wathen said.

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