The Braxton Democrat

Expired registration leads to drug arrests

Deputy A.L. Groves of the Braxton County Sheriff’s Department spotted a Chevrolet Suburban with an expired registration just after 5:00 a.m. Sunday, January 23. When the officer stopped the vehicle, he discovered it was occupied by Anthony Paletti of Flatwoods and Melissa S. Thompson of Gassaway.
During initial questioning Deputy Groves found the driver, Paletti, to be, what he termed in the criminal complaint “extremely nervous.” Cpl. C.E. Westfall arrived on scene and witnessed the same activity. Based on the suspicious behavior, the officers requested that Chief S.L. Brown of the Flatwoods Police Department bring his K-9, Breck, to the scene. When Chief Brown deployed his dog on the vehicle it gave a positive indication on the driver’s door.
A search of the vehicle followed and revealed a set of digital scales found in Ms. Thompson’s purse. The K-9 also gave a positive indication on Ms. Thompson’s person. Questioning by the officers led to Thompson confessing that she had illegal substances in her pants which she voluntarily retrieved.
Upon examination, officers found one bag contained a large amount of a brown powdery substance believed to be Heroin. A second bag contained a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine. The female told the officers that Paletti had instructed her to put the substances in her pants when officers initiated the traffic stop. Officers also confiscated $716 in cash from the driver’s person.
Both were arrested on two charges of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver and one count of conspiracy. They were arraigned before Braxton County Magistrate David Singleton who set their bond at $25,000 cash only for each of them. At press-time both were still lodged in the Central Regional Jail in lieu of that bond awaiting further court proceedings.