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Additional charges filed against Ohio man charged with assaulting an officer

Additional charges have been filed against Joseph P. Elias, 40, of Wintersville, Ohio, after Monongalia County sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant on the vehicle in which he was found.

Elias was initially arrested Jan. 20, after deputies found him asleep in the driver’s seat of his Toyota Highlander with a “white crystal-like powder on his sweatshirt,” according to the criminal complaint filed at the time.  Deputy Noah Thompson said a report was made that Elias’ vehicle had been parked in the roadway for some time with its lights on.

When deputies attempted to remove Elias from the vehicle, he reportedly threw a metal coffee cup at Sgt. Hunn, also of the sheriff’s department, causing him to suffer a busted lip, and broke the mounting clip for Hunn’s body camera.  Hunn required stitches for the injury.

On Jan. 29, Thompson conducted a search of Elias’ SUV, finding approximately 20 grams of a crystal-like substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine, according to a criminal complaint filed this week.

In addition to the drugs recovered from the vehicle, Thompson reported finding two digital scales, a secondary cell phone different from the phone seized from the initial incident, and a USB thumb drive.

Elias now faces charges for possession with intent to deliver a schedule I or II narcotic, a felony in West Virginia.  The new charge is in addition to original misdemeanor charges of obstructing officers, assault on a government employee, destruction of property and driving while impaired.

Elias is being held at North Central Regional Jail.  The new charge added a $25,000 bond to the previous $10,000.  A preliminary hearing for the felony charge is scheduled for Feb. 18.  He is also currently scheduled for a plea hearing for the initial charges on Feb. 28.

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