What began as a routine investigation of a suspicious vehicle turned into much more for officers of the Sutton Detachment of the West Virginia State Police.
On Sunday, August 28, Trooper C. D. Harper received a complaint through the Braxton 9-1-1 Center, that someone had reported seeing a red Chevrolet Camaro on Scotts Fork / Bonnie Road with the two occupants having sex in public view.
Senior Trooper Harper and Trooper Clark apprehended the described vehicle on Scotts Fork near the Sunrise Road Intersection. When officers asked the driver to get out of his vehicle to question him regarding the indecent exposure complaint, they observed a handgun in the driver’s side door compartment.
Trooper Garrett and Deputy Groves of the Braxton County Sheriff’s Department joined the investigation to aid in further searching the vehicle. That search turned up a smoking apparatus in the back seat and a black bag in the backseat, within reach of the driver. When officers opened the bag, they found a clear bag containing approximately 222 grams (a half pound) of what was believed to be meth, a set of digital scales and smoking pipes. Officers also confiscated $1,045 in cash from Tanner’s person. He also admitted to the allegations of indecent exposuer during questioning by Troopers.
The Driver identified as Michael Kevin Tanner, 53, of Webster Springs was charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine. Tanner was arraigned before Braxton County Magistrate David Singleton where his bond was placed at $50,000 cash only. Tanner remains incarcerated at the Central Regional Jail in lieu of that bond.
Officers discovered that Tanner was convicted in 2016 in Webster County of domestic violence and is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. Trooper Harper intends to present evidence to the next Grand Jury pertaining to Tanner being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm for possible indictment. The female passenger has not been charged; however the investigation is continuing.