3 men arrested on drug charges following Marion Co. traffic stop

Fitzgerald Slater & Gross_1550873195904.PNG.jpg

Three men were arrested on drug charges in Fairmont after officers said they found cocaine hidden inside of a Burger King bag during a vehicle search.

On Thursday, February 21, at 10:14 a.m. officers with the Fairmont Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado for displaying improper registration. Officers said the traffic stop was initiated on 4th Street after they observed the vehicle leave a residence on Walnut Avenue that they had received prior drug complaints about.

Officers said there were four occupants inside of the vehicle including two passengers, Tyleal Fitzgerald, 24, of Morgantown; and Jeffrey Slater, 31 of Mannington. The driver of the vehicle was Aaron Gross, 23, of Barrackville, according to police. Officers said Fitzgerald initially provided them with a false name, due to him being wanted in Maryland.

Officers then utilized a K-9 to conduct a drug sniff, which gave police a positive indication of controlled substances inside of the vehicle. All individuals were then removed the vehicle, according to police.

While searching the vehicle, officers said Fitzgerald fled on foot. A short foot pursuit ensued which led from 4th Street to Locust Avenue, where Fitzgerald was apprehended by police. After placing Fitzgerald under arrest, officers continued the search of the vehicle.

During the search of the vehicle, officers said they found a clear bag containing numerous capsules of white powder inside of a Burger King bag that was located near the front passenger floorboard. Also inside of the Burger King bag, was a clear plastic bag containing pink oval-shaped pills, according to police.

The white powdery substance inside of the capsule pills tested positively for cocaine, police said, and the pink pills were identified as Amphetamine pills.

Officers said they also seized approximately 50 new and clear plastic bags and a firearm from the vehicle. Police said the plastic bags that were located are commonly used for the packaging of narcotics for sale. The firearm, a Harrington & Richardson .22 caliber revolver, was found underneath the front passenger seat, according to police.

Officers said all the individuals, including Fitzgerald, Slater and Gross denied that the controlled substances belonged to them. The cocaine that was found by police weighed approximately 6.41 grams, police said. 

Fitzgerald had a previous felony conviction of for wanton endangerment in April of 2018, according to a criminal complaint. 

Fitzgerald has been charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine and prohibited possession of a firearm. Slater and Gross were charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine. 

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