Hit and Run Investigation Leads to Bust
A New Martinsville hit and run investigation has lead to a major drug bust across the river for Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and charges are pending against Robert “Jason” Work, 38, of Clarington, Ohio.
Sheriff Charles Black of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office states that Work is the suspect in the fatal hit and run accident that occurred on Route 2 in New Martinsville late Wednesday evening.
According to Black, Work turned himself in on Thursday but would not give consent to officers to enter his Clarington residence to recover the vehicle in question. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant and executed it.
“That’s where it gets a little bit interesting,” Sheriff Black remarked. “We had been looking into Mr. Work for a while on drug-related instances. We had been receiving a lot of drug intel, so we knew there was a high probability that there was possibly meth cooking in the house. So in turn, I went ahead and took my meth unit, suited them up with chemical-resistant suits and respirators, and cleared the house of any threats. That’s where they noticed narcotics in every room along with drug-related paraphernalia.”
Black explains that the West Virginia State Police came in and obtained and recovered Work’s vehicle. Meanwhile, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office obtained an additional search warrant for the narcotics that were observed. Once the area was secured, the work began again. Black states that the substances obtained from the house are still untested and unconfirmed; however, field tests were performed, and one substance showed positive for meth, while another substance tested positive for what Black considers to be a hallucinogenic. Pills, needles, marijuana, and an area to grow marijuana were also discovered.
Black also stated there was a side door in the downstairs of the residence which lead down a very narrow hallway.
“In there he had a tent set up,” Black explains, adding that it appeared to be an area for marijuana growth. Black states that both of the marijuana growing stations were not very active, but he assumed they had been used in the past for growing marijuana.
Black said the bust was significant when considering the variety of drugs and paraphernalia that law enforcement found. He explains that normally if law enforcement goes into a heroin house, they find heroin. If they hit a cultivation or grow house, they find marijuana. However, with Work’s residence, Black states a variety of substances were to be found.
“That many variety of drugs, we usually just don’t run into. There were several grams of meth there,” he states. “What caught my attention was the variety.”
Black reports that Monroe County Sheriff’s Office received the call concerning Work around 5 p.m. Thursday.
“At that point, it was writing the warrant up, getting the information for the affidavit, the basic paper trail to enter into the residence.” Black states that he pulled out of the residence by 6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. this morning.
As to charges, Black states that all the information is still being processed.
“We will have to sit down with the prosecuting attorney and see what he feels,” he explains, adding that many of the pills were intermixed as well, which means they will need identified. “That’s also a headache,” Black said.
Notably, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office’s meth unit was formed within the past three to four months, according to Black.
“We obtained money from our commissioners. I believe it was just around the mid $30,000. We sent five officers away for a week. We trained them on entry into a meth house, neutralization of the chemicals. We can do that all in-house. We equipped our guys with chemical suits, respirators, air tanks, anything and everything needed to go into a meth house,” Black said.
Currently Work is being held for his Wetzel County charge – for leaving the scene with a fatality.
Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught states that the statue in West Virginia requires drivers to stop at an accident and render aid. The statue makes it a crime to leave the scene if there is an injury of fatality.
“He’s charged with that felony offense in West Virginia,” Haught added. “I don’t know if there will be any additional charges brought against him, because I haven’t seen the accident investigation report.”
Leaving the scene with a fatality could carry a sentence of not less than one nor more than five years if Work is convicted.
Work was arraigned by Magistrate Thomas Shepherd on Friday, June 12. Bond is set at $50,000.