Morgantown man charged after troopers find drugs, firearm during routine traffic stop

Crime

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A Morgantown man has been charged with multiple crimes after troopers said they found drugs and a weapon on his person during a routine traffic stop.

On Feb. 15, troopers with the Morgantown detachment of the West Virginia State Police were stationed at a median on I-79, near mile marker 140, when they observed a sedan traveling in the northbound lane with one of its headlights out, according to a criminal complaint.

Troopers then activated their cruiser’s emergency lights and siren in order to attempt a traffic stop, and the sedan pulled onto the shoulder at the 146 mile marker, troopers said. Upon making contact with the vehicle, troopers observed a firearm in open view on the side of one of the vehicle’s passengers, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, according to the complaint.

Derrick Hamlet

The man in possession of the firearm was identified as Derrick Hamlet, 25, of Morgantown, and troopers took possession of the firearm and informed the vehicle’s occupants of the reason for the stop, troopers said.

When troopers received identification from the vehicle’s occupants, they asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle, to which the occupants replied there was not, according to the complaint. Troopers learned that the driver had multiple warrants for his arrest, and they took all of the vehicle’s occupants into custody and asked them if they would consent to a search of their vehicle. When all three occupants replied “no,” a K9 was called in, troopers said.

While waiting for the K9 unit to arrive, Hamlet informed officers that “he smokes marijuana and knew the K9 would hit,” after Hamlet said this, troopers then had the K9 conduct an open air sniff around the vehicle, and it indicated the presence of substances inside the sedan, according to the complaint.

Inside the vehicle, troopers found a pink lunchbox containing small bags of a white powder substance, multiple bags of marijuana, a digital scale, a box of ziplock bags and a P-32 semi-automatic pistol with four rounds inside, troopers said.

The complaint states that when the white powder substance was tested, it came back positive for heroin and fentanyl.

Hamlet is charged with possession with intent to deliver, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail, with bail set at $50,000.

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