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W.Va. operation nets guns, drugs, $20,000

April 07, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police confiscated two handguns, 50 grams of marijuana, $20,000 in cash and two other types of weapons during a four-day effort to control speeding, drug trafficking and truck safety problems on Interstate 81, according to a sergeant in charge of the interstate patrol.

A .32-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a .38-caliber revolver were confiscated during traffic stops because they were being concealed, which is illegal, said Sgt. Deke Walker.

Also confiscated were an "asp," a collapsible baton some police agencies use to subdue people, and a "flat jack," which is a piece of rawhide with a weight in one end, Walker said.

The $20,000 was confiscated March 27 from a driver who had the money in his shoes, Walker said.

The man had a prior drug arrest, and police alleged the money might be related to drug trafficking, Walker said.

The 20-year-old driver, who gave a Winchester, Va., address, was charged with speeding and not being named on the rental agreement for the car he was driving, Walker said.

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The four-day interdiction effort was conducted between March 27-30 on the Berkeley County section of the interstate, Walker said. Six troopers worked from 8 a.m. to midnight every day during the period, he said.

Walker said 191 cars were stopped and 33 were searched, 28 with a police dog.

Troopers made 27 misdemeanor arrests, issued nine misdemeanor citations and wrote 72 tickets, Walker said.

The 50 grams of marijuana came from different cars that were pulled over, Walker said.

State police have wanted to perform more operations like last month's but have not had enough officers, Walker said. He considered the number of violations and the amount of guns and drugs confiscated on the interstate during the four-day period "average."

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