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Wanton endangerment investigation results in multiple felony charges for Upshur County residents

BUCKHANNON – On April 2, 2024, deputies from the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at a residence on Route 20 South Road in relation to a prior wanton endangerment incident involving a firearm, according to a press release. During the search, deputies allegedly discovered nine firearms, including rifles, shotguns, and pistols, many of which were loaded and accessible to the residents, John Felix Cathell III and Jennifer Rae Cathell.

The search resulted in both individuals being arrested.

“On April 2, 2024, deputies of the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 7003 Route 20 South Road in Upshur County, West Virginia, in relation to a wanton endangerment involving a firearm crime that had occurred days prior,” the release states. “During the execution of the search warrant, deputies located nine firearms, which were all accessible to both John Felix Cathell III and Jennifer Rae Cathell. The nine firearms included four rifles, three shotguns, and two pistols, with many of the firearms being loaded. There was also a Mossberg 935 barrel located. Deputies located multiple boxes of ammo being stored near the firearms.”

In addition to the firearms and ammunition, deputies also allegedly found approximately five marijuana seedling plants in individual pots on the kitchen counter, along with medical marijuana containers, smoking devices, and ground-up marijuana in a spare bedroom and kitchen area, according to the release.

“Deputies also found multiple seedling plants in individual pots on the kitchen counter, which was just a few feet away from where some of the firearms were being stored,” the release states. “The seedling plants, approximately five, were identified and confirmed as marijuana plants by Jennifer Rae Cathell. Deputies also located two medical marijuana containers, marijuana smoking devices and ground-up marijuana in a spare bedroom and the kitchen area. John and Jennifer Cathell both stated they smoke marijuana and do not possess a valid medical marijuana prescription card.”

The release states that records show that John Felix Cathell III has been convicted of multiple felonies in Delaware, including possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, second-degree assault, and possession of a Schedule I narcotic. In 2013, he was also convicted of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and ammunition, according to the release.

John Felix Cathell III has been charged with one felony count of Wanton Endangerment, nine felony counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, five felony counts of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, and 14 felony counts of Conspiracy against the state. Jennifer Rae Cathell has been charged with five felony counts of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance and 14 felony counts of Conspiracy against the state, the release states.

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