BUCKHANNON – The biological parents of a 3-month-old child were charged with child neglect after police allegedly found the infant lying unattended in a car seat on the floor of a Hickory Flat Road residence near methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia.
According to files in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office, Nicholas Ralph Cicalese, 30, of Buckhannon, and Tesyla Mowery, 24, of Weston, were each charged with one count of child neglect creating risk of injury, a felony, following an incident that reportedly occurred Tuesday, March 12.
The complaints against both Cicalese and Mowery state that Sr. Trooper P.J. Robinette with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police had been assisting Bureau of Criminal Investigation undercover units in executing a search warrant on a residence located at 965 Hickory Flat Road in Buckhannon.
The files state that during the search, law enforcement officers allegedly discovered methamphetamine, marijuana and “multiple smoking devices utilized in the use of illicit drugs” on the living room coffee table.
Officers also reportedly smelled a strong odor of burned marijuana when they entered the residence, the reports state.
In addition, police allegedly found a 3-month-old infant “lying within a car seat on the floor in close proximity” to the meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, the files say.
Soon after, Cicalese and Mowery were identified as the biological parents of the child. According to the report, they were also both inside the residence at the time the search warrant was executed. CPS was notified and responded to the scene. When retrieving the child’s diaper bag, officers discovered an open can of an alcoholic beverage concealed inside.
Magistrate Mike Coffman set bond at $50,000 cash/surety for each. As of Thursday evening, both remained in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
If convicted, Cicalese and Mowery each face a penalty of being confined in the penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than five years and/or a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000.