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Former councilman charged

Authorities seek Idoni on drug delivery, conspiracy charges

Authorities seek Idoni on drug delivery, conspiracy charges

February 17, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A little more than two years after admitting to authorities that he sold a prescription Fentanyl patch for $200 to a police informant while in office, a former Martinsburg city councilman is facing more charges in connection with an October 2006 incident.

Frank Idoni, 49, of 112 Union Ave, failed to appear in Berkeley County Magistrate Court this week to be arraigned on charges he delivered a controlled substance (crack cocaine) and conspired with another person to deliver the drug to a police informant on Oct. 31, 2006, Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Lt. Gary Harmison confirmed Friday

"He didn't turn himself in ... (so) we're going to be looking for him now," said Harmison. who obtained warrants for Idoni's arrest Feb. 9.

Idoni was afforded the courtesy of turning himself in after he cooperated with investigators and provided them with information, Harmison said.

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After Magistrate Court closed Friday, Harmison said he was unable to contact Idoni by phone or in person, and did not know where the former Fifth Ward councilman was. But Harmison said Idoni's alleged accomplice in the drug transaction - Cyrus Wren Painter, 24 - already was in jail on a separate charge filed against him.

Painter also was charged with delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy, and he was arraigned Friday by Magistrate Harry Snow, who set a $60,000 bond for the case, according to records.

According to a complaint filed by Harmison, Painter retrieved the crack cocaine from Idoni and provided it to a police informant who arrived at the former councilman's home with $200 in "copied" cash for the monitored purchase.

Elected to city council in June 2004, Idoni agreed in April 2005 to resign his seat as part of a plea agreement that allowed him to avoid jail time.

He entered a guilty plea to one count of delivery of a controlled substance and a no-contest plea to an unrelated battery charge and was placed on probation for five years, according to records.

As part of the agreement accepted by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge David H. Sanders, the jail sentences that came with the convictions were suspended and Idoni was placed on probation for five years.

The drug charges initially were filed on Jan. 21, 2005, after Idoni twice sold a Fentanyl patch to a police informant, police had said.

The battery charge stemmed from an incident in October 2004 in which Idoni allegedly spit on and punched a teenager whom he felt was driving too fast through his neighborhood, according to court records.

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