Man sues Preston County Sheriff’s Department after drug search

KINGWOOD — A North Carolina man is suing the Preston County Sheriff’s Department, asking it to pay for damages he said were done to his car, when they searched for drugs.

Brent Kipp, 31, of Supply, North Carolina, filed a civil suit Thursday in Preston County Magistrate Court. He is asking for $4,047.16, which includes the estimated cost of repairing the car and cost to file the suit.

According to court records, Kipp was issued a citation for possession of less than 15 grams of marijuanat 11:53 p.m. July 19 on Nuse Road, near Masontown, by Cpl. W.T. McNair. He was also given a warning citation for failure to stop at a stop sign.

He pleaded guilty to the possession charge and was ordered to pay $166.25 court costs and placed on six months unsupervised probation. At the end of probation, he can ask to have his record expunged, if this is a first offense.

In a handwritten note with the suit, Kipp said, “I willingly gave the officers 0.3 grams of marijuana out of my pocket after more than 2 hours of searching my car they didn’t find anything in the car they didn’t check my pockets once.”

Along with the suit, Kipp included an estimate from a Shallotte, North Carolina, auto body and glass shop, showing an estimate of $3,857.16 to repair his 2017 Nissan Sentra.

Among the work listed on the estimate is replacing an air conditioner and heater assembly because of a hole in the heater, repairs to the instrument panel, replacing a tray speaker, replacing the center console, repairing the front seat and replacing the head liner.

Kipp includes photos of the alleged damage with the suit. Notes with the photos include one that says, “from broken condensator water flooding in car causing mold.”

Other notes say the mold had to be “professionally removed.” The center console was broken, unstable and moving, according to another notation. The headliner had to be replaced because it was the only access to a broken wire harness in the ceiling, according to the shop estimate.

Preston Sheriff’s Chief Deputy P.A. Pritt said the department has no comment on pending litigation.

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