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Drug task force makes weekend arrests for meth, marijuana

One police search led to another for a New York man who is now facing drug charges in Morgantown after a police investigation into a separate crime revealed a large amount of pre-packaged methamphetamine at his residence.

On Jan. 6, detectives with the Morgantown Police Department (MPD) executed a search warrant at a Stewart Street apartment as part of a sexual assault investigation they were conducting involving Naryan K. Dhanraj, 27, of Far Rockaway, N.Y., court documents said. 

According to a criminal complaint filed against Dhanraj, during their initial search MPD detectives found “multiple pre-packaged quantities of an unknown substance laying on the floor in one of the bedrooms,” as well as a digital scale, packaging material, and “equipment commonly used to cook cocaine into crack cocaine.”

Detectives contacted officers with the Mon Metro Drug Task Force (MMDTF) who responded to the residence to conduct field tests of the substance found on the floor, which showed positive for methamphetamine, the complaint said.

Based on the information gathered, the report says task force officers were able to obtain a second search warrant which allowed them to search the residence to gather evidence in relation to Dhanraj’s possible involvement in possession and distribution of controlled substances. 

MMDTF officers uncovered approximately 235.96 grams of crystal methamphetamine in one of the bedrooms during their search which were pre-packaged into 13 different quantities determined to be consistent with street level drug dealing.

On Jan. 8, Dhanraj pleaded not guilty to the alleged felony possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine charges and was released after posting the required 10% of a $25,000 personal recognizance (PR) bond.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 18.

MPD officials did not immediately respond to inquiries on the status or nature of their sexual assault investigation or if Dhanraj could be facing additional charges in that case.

In an unrelated incident also on Jan. 6, task force officers along with Monongalia County probation officers, conducted another warranted search at a Spruce Street apartment.

According to court documents, the officers allegedly encountered Leon E. Sandiford, 25, of Morgantown, at the residence along with more than four ounces of marijuana and a handgun.

Sandiford is charged with felony possession with intent to deliver marijuana and entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment on Jan. 6.  He was released from custody on a $15,000 PR bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Jan. 17.

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