Man receives drug charges after deputies find multiple people in ‘closed’ parking lot in Terra Alta


TERRA ALTA, W.Va. — A man has received drug charges after deputies said they found multiple people in a van in a “closed” parking lot in Terra Alta.

On Sept. 8, deputies with the Preston County Sheriff’s Department were patrolling the area of Veteran’s Memorial Highway near Terra Alta whereupon they noticed “two white vans parked near the rear of two box trailers parked in the parking lot,” according to a criminal complaint.

Deputies “observed that the vans were not parked in a way that the driver side doors lined up,” and that there were four men “standing to the read huddled around an open hatch,” in the parking lot where multiple reports of drug deals had been received, deputies said.

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William Gardner

When the men observed deputies, they “quickly closed the rear hatch” and returned to their vehicles and pulled out of the parking lot in an attempt to leave, and deputies began an investigation as to why there were individuals in a closed parking lot, according to the complaint.

Deputies then made contact with the driver of the van that had attempted to leave the parking lot who “appeared to be under a controlled substance,” and took that man into custody, deputies said.

After taking the man into custody, deputies removed the other men from the vehicle, one of whom was William Gardner, 41, of Terra Alta, and then deputies began a search of the vehicle, according to the complaint.

Upon a search of the vehicle, deputies said they found a set of digital scales, a “used” bag, a syringe, an Advil container with “several large crystal pieces” inside, as well as marijuana.

Gardner has been charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $100,000 bond.

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