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Motorcycle duo arrested for drugs following brief police pursuit

Law enforcement officers in Preston County recovered over 100 grams (about 3.53 ounces) of methamphetamine and fentanyl following a brief pursuit of two people on a motorcycle. 

On Aug. 7, Deputy E.A. Mace with the Preston County Sheriff’s Department reported seeing two people, later identified as Gerald Wayne Sypolt, 46, of Reedsville and Sarah Ellen Baker, 40, of Morgantown, on a motorcycle traveling west on Veterans Memorial Highway in Masontown. The deputy noted the registration on the motorcycle had expired in 2015. 

When the deputy turned on his lights and sirens to conduct a traffic stop on the motorcycle, he said the driver accelerated, reaching high rates of speed on Long Hollow Road. 

According to Mace’s complaints, the duo attempted to turn into the driveway of a residence but wrecked, causing both passengers to be thrown from the motorcycle. 

Mace stated Sypolt, the driver, then jumped back on the bike and attempted to drive it toward the deputy. 

Another law enforcement officer who had arrived on the scene, Officer Queen, was able to stop the vehicle before it reached Mace by “tackling the driver off the motorcycle.” 

While the two officers were attempting to take Sypolt into custody, they noticed Baker begin to run up the driveway toward the residence. 

Following a brief foot chase, Mace stated he was able to take her into custody. Baker allegedly initially told police her name was Paula Dalton, which they found to be false. 

After getting Baker into custody, Mace reported seeing Sypolt fighting with Officer Queen and not listening to commands to put his hands behind his back. The deputy stated he administered his taser on Sypolt, who was then taken into custody. 

Both Sypolt and Baker were searched at the scene and, according to Mace’s complaints, were found to have a “large bag of suspected methamphetamine.” 

Multiple additional small baggies of suspected meth were allegedly found during a subsequent search of their possessions as well as multiple scales and a large sum of small baggies not containing drugs. 

A field test of the suspected meth came back positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl; both are schedule II narcotics. The total amount recovered came to 108.41 grams. 

Sypolt is charged with possession of narcotics with intent to distribute as well as fleeing with reckless indifference. Sypolt’s bond was set at $250,000 in Preston County Magistrate Court. He is currently being held at Tygart Valley Regional Jail (TVRJ). 

Baker is charged with possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. Her bond was set at $150,000 and she is also being held at TVRJ.  

Court records show earlier this year, Baker was charged after a similar situation occurred in Star City in Monongalia County. During a traffic stop in Star City on Jan. 16, Baker was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine, methamphetamine, alprazolam and fentanyl. She was charged with four counts of possession with intent to distribute and four counts conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs. Bond for these previous charges was reinstated at $75,000. 

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