KINGWOOD, W.Va. (WBOY) — A Harrison County man has been charged after he allegedly sold a fentanyl pill disguised as oxycodone to someone in Preston County.
On July 16, troopers with the Preston County detachment of the West Virginia State Police responded to the Heldreth hotel in Kingwood where “a large group of individuals appearing to be in some type of an altercation,” according to a criminal complaint.
Upon speaking with witnesses on the scene, troopers learned that Matthew Franco, 38, of Nutter Fort, had “sold an unknown controlled substance pill,” troopers said.
The witness told troopers that a person had consumed the pill, which was “supposed to be oxycodone,” and that he overdosed shortly after, according to the complaint.
Troopers then went to the hotel room where Preston County EMS had responded to the overdose and made contact with Franco. He said “there was possibly drug paraphernalia inside his room,” and that he was the driver of a U-Haul bearing an Arizona registration, troopers said.
At that time, a K-9 unit with the Preston County Sheriff’s Department arrived to perform a free air sniff of the hotel room and U-Haul, which resulted in a positive indication for the presence of narcotics in both, according to the complaint.
After receiving a search warrant, troopers found “several” bags, scales, drug paraphernalia, “loaded” and “unloaded” syringes, as well as 50 counterfeit fentanyl pills, weighing 13 grams, that were made “to look like Xanax with no markings and oxycodone,” troopers said.
While handling the substances, Franco informed troopers “that officers should mask up when handling” them, according to the complaint.
Franco has been charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail on $150,000 bond.