Braxton Citizens' News

I-79 traffic stop leads to drug arrests

Braxton County Deputy Sheriff Andrew Groves was patrolling I-79 Saturday, January 23 around 7:00 p.m. when he observed a Chevrolet Cobalt with defective exhaust and improper registration headed north about the 55-mile marker.

Upon conducting a traffic stop the officer identified the driver as Jerry Ray Hart, 43, of Sutton and his passenger as Bridgette Bender, 34, of Frametown. The officer observed a piece of tinfoil in the passenger seat under Ms. Bender’s purse. The officer, with the assistance of Cpl. Cleve Westfall, detained the pair and searched the vehicle. The officers located a glass pipe in Hart’s shirt pocket.

Search of the vehicle uncovered burnt foil, a large amount of cash  and plastic bags often used in the distribution of illegal substances.

Upon questioning the female suspect voluntarily told the officers that she had “a bag down my pants.” Bender retrieved the substance which contained 24.5 grams of a crystal substance officers believed to be metorphamide and a second bag containing 8.9 grams of a white powdery substance believed to be Fentanyl. 

Under questioning, Bender identified the substances as Meth and Fentanyl and told the officers that Hart gave her the bags to put down her pants when they saw the blue lights behind them.

Both were arrested on charges of possession of drugs with the intent to delivery and conspiracy. The pair were arraigned before Braxton County Magistrate Beth Smith where their bonds were set at $35,000 each. The pair remain incarcerated at the Central Regional Jail at press-time in lieu of that cash only bond awaiting additional court proceedings.