BUCKHANNON – A second Upshur County man has been arrested in connection to a May 2022 incident in which two individuals were allegedly caught transporting fentanyl over state lines.
Lucas J. Hyre, 34, of Buckhannon, was arrested for transporting fentanyl into this state, possession with intent to deliver fentanyl and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, all felonies.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Sgt. Marshall O’Connor with the Buckhannon Police Department, on Friday, May 20, 2022, a traffic stop was initiated on a green Ford Explorer after the Lewis County Communications Center received a call regarding the vehicle driving recklessly.
The 911 call was made by the chief of the Weston Police Department, who reported the vehicle was slamming on its brakes suddenly in front of other drivers. State troopers with the Weston detachment of the West Virginia State Police were able to stop the vehicle at the BFS/Huddle House on WBUC Road in Upshur County.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Hyre, and the passenger was identified as Austin Tawney, who was arrested in late June, according to previous reporting. During the roadside interview, the vehicle’s occupants, Hyre and Tawney, allegedly admitted to police that heroin was located inside the vehicle, according to the report. A search was then conducted, during which troopers allegedly found approximately 750 wax paper folds containing fentanyl inside the Ford Explorer, according to the file.
More than a year later, the substance was confirmed by the West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory. Tawney, the passenger, also allegedly admitted to police that he and Hyre had traveled to Pittsburgh to pick up the seized fentanyl to deliver it to a third party who was supposed to pick it up the next day in Buckhannon.
Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder set bail at $30,000 cash only.
The potential penalty for transporting fentanyl into this state is confinement in the state penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than 15 years, a fine of up to $25,000 or both. The potential penalty for possession with intent to deliver fentanyl is confinement in state prison for not less than one year nor more than 15 years, a fine of up to $25,000 or both.
Finally, the penalty for a conviction of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance is confinement in a state prison for a determinate sentence of not less than two nor more than 10 years.