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More than 15 pounds of pot seized during traffic stop in W.Va.

July 07, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - More than 15 pounds of marijuana were found in a sport utility vehicle early Wednesday after a Harpers Ferry Police Department officer pulled over the driver on U.S. 340 for a defective light, according to court records.

The driver and a passenger were charged with transporting a controlled substance into the state and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, Jefferson County Magistrate Court records state.

Billy Dean Carpenter, 25, of 22 Aspen Road in Millville, W.Va., and Michael Joseph Venditti, 20, of 981 N. Delsea Drive, Apt. 408 in Franklinville, N.J., each were being held in the Eastern Regional Jail Wednesday night on $200,000 bond, a jail spokesman said.

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Cpl. B. Dolan of the Harpers Ferry Police Department said he was operating a speed radar at the intersection of U.S. 340 and Shenandoah Street about 3 a.m. when he noticed a defective light on a black sport utility vehicle, court records state.

Dolan stopped the vehicle, which was a Chevrolet with New Jersey registration.

Dolan made contact with the driver, who was smoking a cigarette and appeared to be doing it in a way to cover odor, court records state.

The driver and passenger also were very nervous and their hands were shaking, Dolan said.

Dolan alleged in court records he noticed an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Dolan asked the driver and passenger to step from the vehicle. The men told Dolan they were traveling to Petersburg, W.Va., but they gave different reasons for the trip, court records state.

Dolan found a small amount of a green leafy substance on the floorboard of the passenger side, two small bags containing a green leafy substance in a glove box and a small bag containing a leafy substance in a duffel bag, records allege.

In the rear of the vehicle, Dolan found three blocks of a leafy substance, court records and Harpers Ferry Police Chief Donald Buracker said. The blocks were individually wrapped in clear plastic, records state.

The leafy substances found in the vehicle tested positive for marijuana, Buracker said.

It was the second marijuana bust in the county in less than two weeks.

On June 27, a woman led Jefferson County Sheriff's Department investigators to a house she and her husband own in the Shannondale subdivision on the Blue Ridge Mountain.

The woman wanted to "come clean" about growing marijuana and showed police 12 green garbage bags full of suspected marijuana in the house, investigators said.

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