BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County woman was arrested Sunday for delivering narcotics, which allegedly resulted in a death by overdose in December 2022.
Arista Wright, 25, of Buckhannon, was arrested Sept. 10, 2023, for drug delivery resulting in death, a felony, in connection to the Dec. 7, 2022, death of 34-year-old Troy Anthony Cook.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Cole Bender, on Dec. 8, 2022, at approximately 6 a.m., sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence located on Valley Green Drive regarding a possible overdose. UCS Deputy Sgt. Rodney Rolenson and Sheriff Mike Coffman arrived on scene to find the victim, Troy Anthony Cook, on the floor.
Near Cook’s body, officers located a piece of used aluminum foil, wax paper with something stamped on it and a purple lighter. The mother of Troy Cook, Cynthia Cook, allowed the officers to look at her son’s phone and take photos. Cook was pronounced dead, and in the opinion of the forensic pathologist, his death resulted from fentanyl, xylazine (a powerful sedative that’s only approved for veterinary use on large animals), trazodone and ethanol (alcohol), in addition to three other substances.
Bender located several sets of Facebook messages on Cook’s cellphone between himself and someone with a Facebook account that belonged to ‘Arista Primovero.’ In one set of messages that began at 6:23 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2022, Cook and ‘Arista Primovero’ – later identified by police as Arista Wright – discussed some type of exchange. According to the report, Primovero (Wright) allegedly told Cook she was going to “swing by [his residence] here in a few and grab that $,” adding that “they’re 20.”
According to the report, in a second set of messages at 6:49 p.m., Cook asked Primovero (Wright) several times when she would be swinging by because he was planning to throw money out to her in a cigarette pack. There was also a third set of regular text messages on Cook’s phone from a phone number that matched the one Primovero (Wright) sent Cook through Facebook Messenger.
In the third set, Cook asked Primovero (Wright) if she was “on [her] way back” because he wanted to ensure his mother had gone upstairs to bed, the complaint states.
Cook asked Primovero (Wright) to place something “in a cigarette pack and throw it,” and soon after, around 8:38 p.m., Cook texted that he “[couldn’t] sit in the doorway long” and then sometime after, texted “thank you.” Primovero/Wright allegedly replied with a smiling face emoji.
In the report, Bender wrote that he determined the account of ‘Arista Primovero’ was operated by Arista Wright because he recognized her profile photo and had had previous encounters with her. Bender also noted that through his training and experience, he knew the typical price of a wax paper fold or “stamp” containing a controlled substance, “whether it be fentanyl, heroin or another type of narcotic, is approximately $20.” Bender collected a statement from Cook’s neighbor, who told officers that on Dec. 7. 2022, at about 8:15 p.m., she allegedly saw a female “who had a similar description to Wright” climb out of the passenger side of an SUV to retrieve something thrown from Cook’s residence, the complaint states.
The report also says that on May 8, 2023, a search warrant was executed on Wright’s residence in Valley Green, and the search allegedly resulted in officers confiscating narcotics.
According to the complaint, four months later, on Sept. 8, 2023, Bender interviewed Wright at Tygart Valley Regional Jail. During the interview, she allegedly told police the phone number used in communications with Troy Cook was her TextNow number, and the Facebook page belonging to “Arista Primovero” was hers. She denied having delivered the controlled substance but allegedly admitted that Cook had asked her to obtain some for him.
Wright told police that she went to Weston for a “pick up” and was initially going to bring some to Cook, but another individual “never brought her over there,” Bender wrote in the file.
Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $50,000 cash only.
The potential penalty for a conviction of drug delivery resulting in death is confinement in a state penitentiary for a determinate sentence of not less than three nor more than 15 years.