Cops and Courts

Woman caught shoplifting, arrested on felony drug charges

A woman who was initially being questioned for shoplifting less than $25 worth of clothing from a Morgantown area Walmart on Saturday is now being held on felony drug charges.

Granville Police Officer Vincent Manley was dispatched to the Walmart at University Town Center for a shoplifting call when he met the suspect Kara Nichole Martines, 27, of Exchange, he said in a criminal complaint.  

Walmart Loss Prevention associates told the officer they observed Martines put on unpaid clothing merchandise and then pass the last point of sale wearing the unpaid items, the complaint said.  The total amount of unpaid merchandise was said to be $22.76.

Manley said that while performing a probable cause search of Martines and her belongings for more unpaid items, he observed drug paraphernalia in her purse.  The purse contained “a lock box with multiple containers of a white powdery substance,” he said in the complaint.

At the police station, Manley tested the substance which was positive for fentanyl and weighed more than six grams.

Martines is charged with unlawful possession of fentanyl more than five grams which, if convicted, could be a 4 to 20 year sentence.  She is currently being held in the North Central Regional Jail on $25,000 bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Monongalia County Magistrate Court on Feb. 9.