Woman receives drug charges after officers observe ‘hand-to-hand transaction’ in Marion County

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. — A woman has received drug charges after officers observed her performing a ‘hand-to-hand transaction’ in Marion County.

According to a criminal complaint, on October 19, officers with the Fairmont Police Department observed what looked like a hand-to-hand transaction of drug distribution on East Park Ave. in Fairmont.

Offender Picture
Sara Katonka

The vehicle involved in the transaction had an expired registration. Officers performed a traffic stop on the vehicle at the BC Bank on Indiana Avenue and made contact with the driver, identified as Sarah Katonka, 38, of Fairmont.

As Katonka was looking for her information, officers noticed a torch and baggies in the vehicle, which officers explained are commonly used by drug users, at which point officers asked Katonka if there were any weapons or drugs in the vehicle, according to the complaint.

Katonka told officers that she had a gun but didn’t know where. Officers then told the driver to exit the vehicle so they could retrieve the firearm and make it secure. Katonka proceeded to tell officers that she had the firearm concealed in her shirt, officers said.

White Hall Police Officers then came to the scene to assist. They had a K9 unit perform a free air sniff around the vehicle area, which gave a positive indication for the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, according to the complaint.

A search was then performed, which resulted in officers finding 3.39 grams of methamphetamine, 2.26 grams of Fentanyl, as well as “a large amount” of U.S. currency, officers said.

Katonka has been charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. She is being held in North Central Regional Jail.

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