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Fla. man living in work camp faces drug charges

October 14, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

GERRARDSTOWN, W.Va. - A Florida man was charged with having crack cocaine, cash and a gun in his room at a labor camp in Berkeley County, according to allegations in court records.

Anthony E. Buckhanon, 35, of 4044 Shellman Street, Orlando, Fla., was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, distribution of crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He also was charged with a fugitive warrant because he reportedly habitually violates his probation in Florida, police said.

The arrest was the culmination of a two-week investigation into alleged drug activity at the labor camp at 810 Cultivate Court in Gerrardstown, police said.

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Numerous officers with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department assisted in the investigation, including Deputies R.L. Steerman and Terry S. Shetley.

According to records filed in Magistrate Court, on Oct. 5 Steerman and other deputies spotted a car driving near the labor camp. After the driver spotted the police car, a passenger threw something from the window, police alleged.

Officers said the item was a small fuse case containing crack cocaine. The passenger said he bought the crack cocaine out of the last window of the labor camp building, records allege.

On Oct. 11, as officers performed surveillance on the labor camp, they spotted another car leaving the camp. When DMV records showed the license plate was not on file, the car was pulled over, police said.

The passenger in that car also said he had purchased $50 worth of crack cocaine from the last window of the building, records allege. The man said he bought the drugs from a man whose first name was Tony, police allege.

After obtaining a search warrant, several officers searched the last two rooms in the labor camp building, records state. They found Buckhanon asleep in a bed in the last room, police said.

Inside a hole in the room's ceiling, which had been covered with a piece of cardboard, police found a .22-caliber gun, $5,644 in cash and 18.8 grams of crack cocaine, records allege.

Police said the gun had been reported stolen and that the crack cocaine had a street value of around $3,800.

The labor camp houses workers who are here to pick seasonal fruit, including apples.

Buckhanon was being held in Eastern Regional Jail Wednesday night on $125,000 bail.

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