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Martinsburg city official arrested on drug charges

January 22, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Martinsburg City Councilman Frank Idoni was arrested and charged Friday with two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance after police allege he sold prescription Fentanyl patches to a police informant, police said.

Idoni, 47, of 112 Union Ave. in Martinsburg, was arraigned on the two felony charges by Magistrate Sandra Miller, who set a $30,000 cash-only bail.

According to a three-page criminal complaint filed by Martinsburg Police Department Detective Sgt. George Swartwood in Berkeley County Magistrate Court, Idoni sold the patches for $200 each.

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Idoni sold the first patch on Jan. 7 to a confidential informant who was identified in court records as "CI Operator." The informant knew Idoni, police said.

After he was dropped off near Idoni's house, the informant said he walked to the side of Idoni's house and tapped on a window. When he reached the back door, Idoni was there and let him in, police said.

When the informant handed over $200 in marked bills, Idoni put $100 in his shirt pocket and $100 in his pants pocket before retrieving the patch from another room, records state.

The informant then returned to police and gave them the patch. He also told them that Idoni had a .45-caliber pistol in a cross-draw holster on his waist during the purchase, records state.

The second purchase happened on Jan. 11. The same informant was used, police said.

At that time, Idoni grabbed the informant's ears and started shaking him because he believed the informant had told his wife about the patches, police said.

Idoni gave the informant the patch and "asked him (the informant) about a girl, he wanted somebody to party with and wanted him to call her," records state.

Idoni then told the informant that he could obtain more patches next month, police said.

Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance, police said. According to the WebMD Web site, it is a habit-forming narcotic used to help alleviate chronic pain.

Mayor George Karos said Friday that he will not renew a previously made request that Idoni resign from his councilman's seat.

"(We'll) just let the courts do what they have to do," said Karos, who declined to comment further.

Idoni has said that he will not resign.

Last June, Idoni was elected to represent Ward 5 residents. He defeated incumbent Glenville Twigg by four votes.

Martinsburg Police Department Chief Ted Anderson said that Idoni was arrested at his home without incident. An active investigation into Idoni was launched around a month ago, he said.

At the time of his arrest on Friday, Idoni was free on $2,500 bail from an earlier misdemeanor charge of battery, which was filed against him in October.

That charge, which still is pending, stemmed from an incident in which police allege Idoni spit on and punched a teenager whom he felt was driving too fast, records state.

After his arrest, Idoni told reporters that he fought with the teenager after the teenager kicked him when he tried to walk away.

Conviction on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance carries a sentence of one to 15 years in prison.

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