BUCKHANNON – Two Upshur County residents were arrested on drug charges last week after the vehicle they were traveling in nearly caused a collision at the intersection of U.S. Route 33 and Childers Run Road, according to police.
Matthew J. Hoskinson, 23, and Susan McDowell Lutz, 38, both of Buckhannon, were each arrested for one count of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, a felony, following a traffic stop for failure to yield.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Trooper First Class P.J. Robinette with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Thursday, Jan. 27, just after 5:30 p.m., Robinette was conducting a road patrol on Route 33. He observed a green Chrysler pull out from Childers Run Crossing and begin traveling across the eastbound lanes, according to the police report.
Robinette noted that the vehicle traveling in the eastbound lane of Route 33 had to slam on its brakes to avoid a collision with the Chrysler, the report states. As the green Chrysler continued in the westbound lane, Robinette initiated a traffic stop for failure to yield.
Robinette contacted the vehicle’s three occupants, including the driver, Susan Lutz, and Hoskinson, a backseat passenger. According to the report, Robinette identified “numerous criminal indicators,” so he requested a K-9 unit on scene, and Sgt. William Courtney and K-9 officer Erros with the Buckhannon Police Department arrived to investigate. Erros allegedly displayed a positive indication for narcotics inside the vehicle.
A search of the vehicle was performed, and police found a black bag with a long shoulder strap wrapped around the center console. Upon searching the bag, Robinette found and seized three plastic bags, all of which allegedly contained a sizable amount of white powdery and crystal-like substances, which later field-tested positive for methamphetamine, the file says. In total, the weight of all three bags amounted to approximately 2.12 ounces. In addition, multiple empty clear bags were also located inside the black bag.
Police also discovered one semi-automatic pistol in a pile of clothes in the backseat and one semi-automatic rifle in the vehicle’s trunk during the search, the complaint states.
Although the methamphetamine was within reach of all three occupants, Robinette noted that “no one claimed ownership or having any knowledge of [the methamphetamine].”
Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail for both Hoskinson and Lutz at $25,000 cash only. As of Monday, Jan. 31, both individuals remained incarcerated, according to the West Virginia Regional Jail & Corrections Authority website.
The penalty for a conviction of possession with intent to deliver is confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than 15 years, a fine of up to $25,000 or both.