Men arraigned on multiple charges after allegedly leading police on high-speed chase

September 17, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Fearing he was in “imminent danger,” a law enforcement officer fired his weapon at a 33-year-old man Friday night who avoided capture outside a Sheetz store and led police on a high-speed pursuit on W.Va. 9, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Martin Cain Felder of Urbana, Md., and passenger Zachary Brian Huff, 20, of Hedgesville, W.Va., were wanted by police on drug-related charges before the pursuit, which began at about 10:30 p.m., according to court records.

Felder was arraigned Saturday by Berkeley County Magistrate JoAnn Overington on single counts of fleeing with reckless indifference, distribution of heroin, conspiracy, possession with intent to deliver an imitation narcotic, assault on an officer, battery of an officer and two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, according to court records.

Police also determined Felder was wanted by Middlesex County, N.J., authorities for a probation violation, according to court documents.

Huff was arraigned by Overington on charges of conspiracy and distribution of heroin, according to court records.

Earlier Friday, police learned that Felder had 100 grams of cocaine and 40 grams of heroin stolen from beneath the pillow he was sleeping with in a mobile home off Margarets Way, according to court records.

The person who stole the drugs was captured in Hampshire County, W.Va., and admitted he took them from Felder, according to court documents.

West Virginia State Police Cpl. Brian Bean, pretending to be the brother of the individual who took the drugs, contacted Felder and arranged to leave the cocaine and heroin outside the Sheetz store near exit 12 off Interstate 81, according to court records.

What Bean actually placed between a garbage can and gas pump No. 9 at the Sheetz were imitation controlled substances that he and Sgt. Dean Olack packaged, according to court documents.

After Felder was contacted about the package, a man later identified as Huff picked up the package and got into a tan sedan driven by Felder, according to court records.

At that point, members of the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force attempted to stop the car, but Felder responded by ramming a U.S. Marshal’s vehicle while driving in reverse and then driving forward aggressively toward a task force member who fired his weapon three times at the suspect because he feared he was in “imminent danger,” according to court documents.

Felder then turned right and made his way out of Sheetz, turning east onto W.Va. 45 (Apple Harvest Drive) and driving fast toward W.Va. 9, according to court documents.

The suspect’s car exceeded 90 mph on W.Va. 9, and traveled recklessly on and off the road, police said.

The car exited at Short Road and Huff rolled out of the vehicle, which then sped away, returning to W.Va. 9 and again topping 90 mph. Police said several plastic bags were thrown from the vehicle during the pursuit.

Police were able to stop the car along W.Va. 9 after it crossed a tire-deflation device deployed by a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department deputy, according to court documents.

A search of the car led to the discovery of a bag of what appeared to be cocaine, but was determined not to be the drug, according to court documents.

Police also allege that Felder and Huff took part in a heroin drug deal that task force members orchestrated with a confidential informant on Aug. 30, according to court documents.

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