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Two men face drug and firearms charges after traffic stop on Island Avenue

BUCKHANNON – Two Elkins men were arrested after allegedly possessing illegal substances and a firearm.

George Singleton, 39, of Elkins, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (meth), driving revoked DUI third offense, prohibited possession of a concealed firearm and prohibited possession of a firearm. Harold Vandevander, 30, of Elkins, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of controlled substance (suboxone), prohibited person in possession of a firearm and prohibited person in possession of a concealed firearm.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Cpl. Tyler Gordon with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, on Dec. 16, Gordon observed a dark-colored GMC SUV bearing a Georgia registration traveling east on Island Avenue. Upon seeing his marked patrol vehicle, the driver abruptly turned off the road and into a residence that Gordon did not believe the vehicle was associated with, he wrote in the complaint.

Gordon then observed the vehicle minutes later, traveling in the same direction as before. The passenger was allegedly not wearing a seatbelt, and the back glass was busted out and covered with plastic, with a damaged third brake light, the report notes.

“I initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle in the parking lot of the Saffles store on Island Avenue, and immediately observed the driver and passenger switch positions in the vehicle,” Gordon wrote. “Both occupants were detained. The original driver was identified as George L. Singleton, and the passenger as Harold Vandevander.”

Vandevander allegedly admitted to possessing suboxone without a prescription, which Gordown located in his pants pocket.

“Upon further search of the vehicle, a small amount of methamphetamine was located on the passenger floorboard, and a Taurus .38 caliber revolver was concealed in the center console of the vehicle, in reach of both occupants,” Gordon wrote in the complaint. “Vandevander is an unlawful user of heroin, suboxone, and methamphetamine. Singleton is also an unlawful user of methamphetamine.”

Singleton allegedly told Gordon that the vehicle belonged to him. Singleton had numerous prior felony convictions, including burglary in the second degree in Georgia on April 19, 2018, Gordon said in the complaint.

Singleton had two prior convictions for driving revoked for DUI in Randolph County on Feb. 11, 2013, and May 18, 2016, the report states, and he was on bond for a pending felony driving revoked DUI third offense charge, also from Randolph County.

Bail for Singleton was set at $35,000 cash or surety by Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis. Bail for Vandevander was set at $20,000 cash or surety.

The potential penalty for possession of a controlled substance (meth) is confinement in jail for not less than 90 days nor more than six months, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.

The potential penalty for driving revoked for DUI third offense is confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than three years, and, in addition to the mandatory prison sentence, a fine of not less than $3,000 nor more than $5,000.

The potential penalty for prohibited possession of a firearm is confinement in a state correctional facility for not more than five years, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both. The potential penalty for prohibited possession of a concealed firearm is confinement in a state correctional facility for not more than three years, a fine of more than $5,000, or both.

The potential penalty for possession of a controlled substance (suboxone) is confinement in jail for not less than 90 days nor more than six months, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.

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