FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Two Fairmont men have been arrested on multiple drug-related charges after police conducted surveillance in what they called a “high-traffic drug and prostitution area” in Marion County.
A criminal complaint filed by the Fairmont Police Department stated that officers were conducting surveillance of the Country Club Motor Lodge on Wednesday, June 24 due to a high volume of come-and-go traffic. Officers said that the Country Club Motor Lodge is known to be a high-traffic drug and prostitution area due to prior experience and past investigations.
The complaint stated that officers observed a vehicle stopped outside the lodge for approximately 30 minutes. The vehicle then exited the lodge and turned onto Country Club Road before abruptly turning onto Fetty Avenue, parking and obstructing the roadway and turning off its lights. Officers said they approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver, Randy Rittenhouse, 59, of Fairmont.
Officers said they began to prepare a citation for illegal parking and requested a K9 unit to their location. Deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department arrived on scene with the K9 unit and conducted a free air sniff of the vehicle, which resulted in the indication of controlled substances inside the vehicle, according to the complaint.
During the search, officers recovered two large bags containing more than 21 grams of methamphetamine in total, three digital scales, a glass smoking pipe with methamphetamine residue and a large amount of cut foil squares, the complaint stated. Officers said that the foil and scales are used in the weighing and packaging of illegal substances for individual sales.
The complaint stated that Rittenhouse was then arrested, and in a post-mirandized interview, he stated that he was helping to move items belonging to Roger Stevens, 38, of Fairmont, to a residence on Fetty Avenue. Officers said that they know Stevens to be a habitual user of illegal drugs from prior interactions, arrests and overdoses. Rittenhouse claimed that Stevens asked him to hold the methamphetamine for him while they were moving the belongings, according to the complaint.
Officers said a search was then conducted at the residence on Fetty Avenue. During the search, officers said they found Stevens hiding in a corner of the basement concealed behind a blanket. Stevens told police that he had just come over for a couple of drinks, according to the complaint.
The complaint stated that officers recovered a black box from the basement that had Stevens’ belongings inside. A notebook with Stevens’ middle name written on the front of it was found inside the box, police said. The notebook contained multiple names and phone numbers, which is consistent with the distribution of controlled substances, according to the complaint.
Police said that several paper and tin foil wrappers that contained a white powder substance that is suspected to be a combination of heroin and fentanyl were also found. The complaint stated that officers also found a digital scale in the black box.
Officers said they spoke wiht the owner of the Country Club Motor Lodge, who stated that Stevens had been evicted from the motor lodge just before the traffic stop. The complaint stated that this cooborates that Stevens conspired with Rittenhouse to transport the methamphetamine, digital scales and packaging materials from the lodge to Fetty Avenue.
Rittenhouse has been charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit a felony; while Stevens has been charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit a felony and possession with intent to deliver fentanyl, according to court documents. Both men are currently being held at North Central Regional Jail. Rittenhouse’s bail has been set at $100,000 and Stevens’ bail has been set at $100,012.