Police find items used to make meth during traffic stop on Route 20

BUCKHANNON – A Morgantown man was arrested Thursday after he was pulled over for driving erratically and found with items used to make methamphetamine.

James Ware, 39, of Morgantown was arrested for possession of precursors to manufacture methamphetamine, a felony.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer trooper F.J. Turansky with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, Turansky received a call of a reckless driver on West Virginia Route 20. The caller said a silver Nissan was all over the roadway and turned down a road identified as Jack Lane.

While responding, Turansky allegedly observed a vehicle matching the description stopped on the roadway near Jack Lane. Turansky turned around and saw the vehicle “take off,” traveling northbound on Route 20 at “approximately 45 miles per hour within a 35 mile per hour speed zone,” according to the complaint. Turansky then saw the vehicle run off the eastern roadway edge.

Turansky conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and identified the driver as Ware.

“Upon approach, this officer noticed Ware appeared to be lethargic and his pupils were small,” the complaint states. “Mr. Ware exited the vehicle so this officer could further his investigation. Mr. Ware in summary advised he had been crying and he did use methamphetamine two days ago.”

A K-9 unit was called to the scene and indicated on the vehicle, according to the complaint. During a search of the vehicle, a black backpack was allegedly located in the backseat of the vehicle. Inside the backpack were several items including two separate bottles and chemicals commonly referred to as Draino, clear plastic tubing, funnels and Mediterranean Sea salt, the complaint noted. Turansky also saw a gas can on the floorboard.

Turansky contacted a State Police clandestine methamphetamine laboratory technician and confirmed the items were precursors to a methamphetamine laboratory.

Turansky then spoke with Ware.

“When asked, Mr. Ware advised he has been in trouble for making methamphetamine in the past,” the complaint states. “He also advised the items in the backpack were not for making methamphetamine, but he does know that some of the items are used to make methamphetamine.”

Bail was set at $25,000 cash only by Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis.

The potential penalty for possession of precursors to manufacture methamphetamine is confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than two nor more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $25,000, or both.

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