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W.Va. men arraigned on drug charges in local hospital

February 24, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Two West Virginia men, hospitalized following a crash on Interstate 81 Sunday morning, were arraigned on drug charges at Washington County Hospital, Maryland State Police said.

Police allege the men had more than 200 grams of heroin with the intention of selling it in the area at the time of the wreck.

Michael Gerald Greer, 46, of Beckley, W.Va., and Steven Dewayne Fitzwater, 24, of Crab Orchard, W.Va., were arraigned at the hospital late Sunday evening by a Washington County District Court Commissioner, police said.

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Both men were charged with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to distribute narcotics, according to a Maryland State Police news release.

Police said Greer also was charged with being a drug kingpin - importing a controlled dangerous substance into the state, driving while under the influence of drugs and driving with a suspended license.

Greer and Fitzwater were both listed in fair condition Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The crash occurred at about 10:15 a.m., on southbound I-81, south of Halfway Boulevard, when Greer's 1996 Pontiac Grand Am struck a culvert and embankment in the median left of the roadway, the release said.

During an investigation of the crash, Maryland State Police Trooper Todd Weaver found 211.7 grams of heroin, with a street value of more than $13,700, in more than 450 small envelopes inside Greer's clothing, police alleged.

Greer was wanted on a bench warrant issued in Garrett County, Md., the release said.

The men were being held, under the supervision of a guard, on a temporary commitment at the hospital, and a bail amount was not set by early Monday evening, police said.

Investigating officers from the state police and representatives from the Washington County Narcotics Task Force could not be reached for further comment Monday.

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