BUCKHANNON – A Tennessee man who told law enforcement he was carrying Epsom salt in his vehicle to treat a skin condition was arrested Saturday for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
Christopher McBroom, 33, of Cookeville, Tennessee, was arrested for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, a felony, Aug. 24 after he was pulled over by a state police officer for allegedly failing to wear his seat belt, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office.
The report was filed by investigating officer TFC Z.T. Cooper with the Weston detachment of the West Virginia State Police.
According to the report, Cooper had been conducting road patrol in Upshur County along U.S. Route 33 when he saw a gray Ford Explorer with a Tennessee registration traveling eastbound. The report said it appeared the male driver, later identified as McBroom, did not have his seat belt fastened.
Cooper conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, McBroom. While speaking to McBroom, Cooper told him why he pulled him over and asked for his driver’s license. The report said McBroom appeared to try and block Cooper’s view with his body while reaching into the center console.
Cooper asked McBroom to exit the vehicle and then noticed a knife in McBroom’s front right pants pocket. Cooper asked McBroom if there was anything illegal in the vehicle, and McBroom said “no,” according to the file.
While Cooper was issuing a warning citation to McBroom and checking for outstanding warrants, Deputy Paul Gonzales with the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene with his narcotic-indicating K-9 Officer Rokko, the file says. Gonzales then walked Rokko around the vehicle, at which point Rokko reportedly indicated the presence of narcotics within the vehicle.
Cooper subsequently searched the vehicle with Sr. Tpr. A. Clark with the Philippi detachment of the WVSP and Sgt. G. Deweese with the Beverly detachment of WVSP. During the search, Deweese allegedly found three plastic sandwich bags containing a large quantity of a white crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine.
Cooper asked McBroom what the substance was, and McBroom allegedly replied that it was Epsom Salt for his psoriasis. McBroom was then placed into custody, and Cooper used a rapid drug identifying test kit, which indicated the substance was positive for methamphetamine, the complaint states.
McBroom was transported to the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police Department for processing.
Magistrate Kay Hurst set bail at $50,000 cash only plus a $12 LET – or Law Enforcement Training – fee.
If convicted, McBroom faces a penalty of confinement in the state penitentiary for not less than one nor more than 15 years, a fine of up to $25,000 or both.