BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man who reportedly eluded police for months was arrested April 6, and he is now facing two additional felony charges filed Thursday after law enforcement allegedly found 440 heroin stamps and more than $7,000 in cash in his backpack.
Jesse Todd Miller, 33, of Rock Cave, was arrested on April 6 on a capias from Upshur County Circuit Court for failure to appear, a felony, and two other misdemeanor charges – fleeing on foot and violation of a protective order.
However, Chief Deputy Mike Coffman with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department said two additional felony charges filed Thursday – one count of delivery of a controlled substance, heroin, and one count of delivery of a controlled substance, fentanyl – stemmed from the same incident that took place April 6.
According to complaints filed in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office by investigating officers Coffman and Sgt. Theron Caynor, Coffman was searching for a person on parole at a Hodgesville residence for whom a warrant had been issued. As he approached the residence, Coffman reportedly saw Miller jump out the side window.
When Coffman approached him in a marked police cruiser on the Hackers Creek Road some time after, Miller allegedly fled behind several storage buildings and refused to heed verbal commands to stop, instead running toward Route 20, according to the file.
Soon after, when sheriff’s deputies Caynor and Dewaine Linger arrived on scene to assist, the occupants of the home Coffman had first approached told law enforcement Miller had “numerous” warrants for his arrest.
“Officers have been actively looking for him for months,” Coffman noted in the report.
At some point while deputies were searching for Miller, Linger encountered a man on Hackers Creek Road, but by then, Miller had reportedly taken off his hat, backpack and flannel shirt, and as a result, Linger failed to recognize him. Miller allegedly even gave police false directions regarding his own whereabouts.
“He told Deputy Linger that the guy we were looking for ran ‘on down [into] the woods along Hackers Creek Road,” Coffman wrote in the file.
Miller subsequently encountered Caynor and told him a different story about his own whereabouts — that the “the guy we were looking for got in a silver car and fled the area,” according to the file.
However, Coffman recognized Miller and arrested him. Coffman wrote that Miller had changed clothes to disguise his appearance and gave “false directions [and engaged] officers to elude arrest.”
An initial search of Miller’s person yielded two bundles of cash and “several small blue packets referred to as ‘stamps’ with heroin inside them.”
Miller was initially arrested on the Circuit Court capias for failure to appear, fleeing on foot and violation of a protective order. According to Caynor’s report, Miller was transported to the sheriff’s department, where deputies conducted a more thorough search of his belongings and allegedly found a set of scales, unused plastic bags, a plastic bag of heroin stamps, and cardboard box with heroin stamps inside.
Sheriff’s deputies estimated the total number of heroin stamps found at 440 and said some were laced with fentanyl. Police also allegedly discovered a green Crown Royal bag with four bundles of cash totaling $7,207.
Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $20,000 cash only, and Miller remained in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail as of Tuesday.
The penalty for a conviction of delivery of heroin is confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than 15 years, a fine of up to $25,000 or both, while the penalty for delivery of fentanyl is imprisonment for not less than four years nor more than 20 years.