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Star City PD finds fentanyl during traffic stop; more at nearby motel

Two individuals are being held at North Central Regional Jail after Star City Police conducted a traffic stop which led to the discovery of fentanyl in the vehicle and in a nearby motel room.

On Feb. 13, Star City Officer Travis Layton conducted a traffic stop on a Pontiac G6 traveling on University Avenue, after he reported observing the driver talking on a cell phone.

During the course of the stop, Layton found cause to deploy his drug detection canine, Abel, to conduct a free air sniff around the exterior, the criminal complaint said.

The canine alerted to the presence of drugs and a search of the vehicle was conducted.

During a search of the vehicle and driver, Arnold Dwayne Smoot, 57, of Star City, Layton found multiple baggies of alleged fentanyl, a scale, additional baggies, U.S. currency, multiple cell phones, a ledger describing sale prices for different weight measurements commonly associated with the distribution of drugs, and additional drug paraphernalia, the complaint reads.

According to the officer’s report, Smoot alleged he and a female accomplice, Melissa Ann Kemp, 44, of Morgantown, were staying at Motel 6 and he was taking the product to her for distribution and use.

Layton obtained a search warrant for the motel room where he found Kemp.  During the search, officers allegedly found more containers of suspected fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, an additional ledger with similar notations to the one found in Smoot’s vehicle and other related items.

While officers were conducting the search, they were informed by MECCA that Kemp also had an active warrant in Pennsylvania, the complaint said.

Both Smoot and Kemp were taken into custody and charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and conspiracy to possess and distribute fentanyl.

The pair pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment hearing on Tuesday.  Bond was set at $55,000 each.

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