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Three in custody after gunfire exchanged

CowGirlz Lounge on Earl L. Core Road in Dellslow was the scene of several arrests Saturday evening after police received multiple reports of shots being exchanged in the Sabraton area.

Three people were arrested, with additional charges expected to be filed. 

The incident allegedly began as a domestic dispute at T&S Rentals, located across town from the scene of the arrests, at 1430 Van Voorhis Road. 

Morgantown Deputy Chief of Police P.J. Scott said the people involved in that dispute left in two different vehicles and as they traveled from Van Voorhis Road to Dellslow, it was reported shots were exchanged at two different locations in the Sabraton area.   

Scott said the exact locations of the gunfire cannot be confirmed; however, police said it happened around Sturgiss Street and the area of North Willey Street and Hampton Avenue.  More shots were allegedly fired once the parties arrived at CowGirlz Lounge. 

Witnesses to the scene said upwards of nine police cruisers from MPD, Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, Mon Metro Drug Task Force and West Virginia State Police were seen at the venue, and at one point officers asked dispatchers to send “all available handcuffs.” 

Deputy Chief Scott confirmed several people found inside the bar were detained for a period of time while officers secured the scene and began investigating — though only three were ultimately taken into custody. 

Those three individuals, Mike S. Scott, 43; Phineas E. Chaplin, 39; and Rachelle Gaston, 38, all of whom reside in Morgantown, were already targets of a Mon Metro Drug Task Force investigation and were arrested in relation to those crimes, the deputy chief said. 

According to criminal complaints, the task force had previously worked with a confidential informant who, at law enforcement direction, purchased methamphetamine and fentanyl from at least one member of the trio on four separate occasions between Sept. 20, 2022 to April 5, 2023. All four of the controlled buys occurred at CowGirlz Lounge. 

Mike Scott was charged with two counts of delivery of fentanyl, one count delivery of methamphetamine, and conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and fentanyl. His bond was set at $750,000.  

Gaston was charged with two counts of delivery of fentanyl and one count conspiracy to deliver fentanyl. Her bond was set at $300,000. 

Chaplin was charged with delivery of methamphetamine and conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. His bond was set at $250,000. 

All three suspects are being held at North Central Regional Jail. 

Deputy Chief Scott said additional charges relating to the shots fired and weapons violations are pending and more charges will be filed relating to the sale of drugs at the location. 

On Sunday, concern from residents grew as law enforcement officers were called to the Dellslow area once again for reports of shots fired. However, police confirm the incident was not related to the CowGirlz Lounge arrests and involved a resident firing a rifle in the woods. 

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