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Weese and Smallwood

Two Upshur women arrested after deputies allegedly find separately packaged meth in Coke can during traffic stop

BUCKHANNON – Two Upshur County women were arrested after they were pulled over and allegedly found in possession of methamphetamine.

Lita Smallwood, 37, and Shirley Weese, 31, both of Buckhannon, were each arrested for one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and one count of conspiracy, both felonies.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Cole Bender, on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, Bender and Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. T.R. Collins responded to an area in the vicinity of Spruce Fork Road to assist Cpl. B.K. Wright with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police on a traffic stop.

The vehicle in question was a Ford Explorer that had been listed as stolen, and the driver had been identified as Weese, according to the file.  

Bender observed the person in the front passenger seat, identified her as Smallwood, and informed her he was aware she had an active arrest warrant. Bender subsequently ordered her out of the vehicle and detained her.

Meanwhile, Smallwood asked Bender if she could grab a can of Coke and give it to the passenger in the back seat. According to the report, Bender grabbed the can himself and started to hand it to the back-seat passenger until he saw something inside the already-opened can. The passenger said the can was not his, and he did not want it.

Bender poured out the can and allegedly found three small, separately sealed plastic bags containing a white, crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine, according to the police report.

At first, both Weese and Smallwood denied the bags belonged to them, but officers had already obtained copies of recent Facebook messages from Weese allegedly “negotiating sales” of illegal controlled substances, the complaint states.

Bender also located one phone on the dashboard in front of where Smallwood was sitting and a second one on her person. Prior to officers seizing it, the can of Coke had been placed in the front cupholder which both Weese and Smallwood had access to. Officers also found a Ruger 9mm handgun concealed in the glove compartment, to which both Smallwood and Weese had access.

Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder set bail at $105,000 cash or surety for both women.

The penalty for a conviction of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine is confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than 15 years, a fine of not more than $25,000 or both.

The potential penalty for felony conspiracy is confinement in a state correctional facility for a determinate sentence of not less than two nor more than 10 years.

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