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Hodgesville Elementary playground incident leads to heroin arrest

BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man was arrested recently after deputies found evidence on someone else’s cellphone that he had allegedly been selling heroin and fentanyl.

Stephen Carr, 33, of Buckhannon, was arrested for delivery of controlled substances, heroin/fentanyl, and conspiracy, both felonies.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. T.R. Collins, during the execution of a search warrant on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, at a residence on Pecks Run Road, the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office seized multiple items related to illegal drug activity.

One of these items allegedly contained “documentation of an illegal drug transaction of suspected heroin/fentanyl,” the police report says. The alleged illegal drug transaction reportedly took place in the outbuilding located on the same Pecks Run Road property where the search warrant was executed.

The two participants who were allegedly involved in this transaction were Carr and Kenneth Cole Karickhoff, who was arrested by the sheriff’s office on Dec. 8 after school personnel reported he was acting ‘suspicious’ on the playground of Hodgesville Elementary School.

According to Collins’s report, Karickhoff was arrested on multiple capias warrants on the afternoon of Dec. 8, 2023, in the Hodgesville area. After the arrest, Collins seized two phones, a wallet that contained aluminum foil with burn marks “consistent with the consumption of heroin/fentanyl,” two used heroin/fentanyl stamps and part of his State of West Virginia ID card.

At the time of Karickhoff’s arrest, he allegedly admitted to smoking heroin/fentanyl that morning.

After obtaining consent to look at Karickhoff’s phone, Collins found messages to Carr on Dec. 8 at approximately 6:50 a.m. stating, “just got the money.”

Karickhoff’s phone showed that Carr had texted, “come in building,” and Karickhoff responded, “sent it.” The Cash App account on the phone shows a transaction of $36 being sent to Carr, dated Dec. 8.

Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail for Carr at $50,000 cash only.

The potential penalty for a conviction of delivery of a controlled substance is confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than five years, a fine of up to $15,000 or both.

The possible penalty for felony conspiracy is a determinate sentence of not less than two nor more than 10 years.

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