Judge Hears Arguments On Suppression Request
A suppression hearing was held in Wetzel County Circuit Court Aug. 16 in the case involving Kenneth Evan Powell Jr., 48, of 315 South Third Avenue, Paden City. Powell currently holds a one-count indictment for the felony offense of delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) within 1,000 feet of a school.
On or about Oct. 21, 2010, in Wetzel County, Powell allegedly, being 18 years of age or older, delivered marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance, within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising Paden City High School.
Deputy Roger Spragg of the Wetzel County Police Department gave testimony in the matter. Spragg states that on Oct. 21, 2010, he and Deputy Robert Scott met with a confidential informant for a controlled buy. The informant was equipped with $80, which had been photocopied so that the police could keep track of the money through its serial numbers. The two followed their confidential informant as they went to obtain the drugs through a target. The target arranged to purchase the drugs and shortly thereafter a “maroonish” vehicle pulled up, which was being driven by a male driver. The target allegedly received the drugs from the driver in the car. Spragg states that the informant then received a quarter bag of marijuana from the target, for which they were charged $70.
After running a license plate check, Spragg and Scott confirmed that the maroon vehicle was located at 315 S 3rd Avenue in Paden City, Powell’s residence. A search warrant was then prepared and executed; evidence, which included marijuana and various prescription pills, was seized from Powell’s home. A large amount of cash was also discovered at the residence, including three $20 bills with the same serial numbers as the money that was given to the informant. The cell phone at the residence displayed calls made amongst all parties involved in the drug transaction at the time of the drug transaction.
The argument between the state and prosecution at this point deals with the location of the search warrant. Thorn H. Thorn, Powell’s defense attorney, argues that the evidence seized through the search warrant cannot be used in the case against Powell since the search warrant was made through Wetzel County magistrate, instead of Tyler County. Spragg stated that if he would’ve known Powell’s residence was in Tyler County, he would have obtained the search warrant through Tyler County. The prosecution states that the officers relied on good faith on the information that was provided to them in the search warrant and they did not intentionally go to the Wetzel County magistrate, knowing it was in Tyler County.
Judge Mark A. Karl asked the prosecution and defense to determine how they feel he should rule in the matter and develop their post findings, conclusions, and post orders. All of that documentation should be submitted to him by Sept. 7. Powell will return to court on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m.