For the record | Preston County Records

KINGWOOD — On March 30, Kingwood police arrested a Masontown man charged with possession of a controlled substance.

According to the criminal complaint, during a traffic stop, the officer saw a female passenger in the back seat stuff something under her seat. The Preston County Sheriff’s Department brought a dog to the scene which reportedly alerted to the presence of narcotics. A search of the vehicle revealed several pieces of paraphernalia and a bag containing suspected methamphetamine.

Chance Elijah, 26, of Masontown, was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was arraigned by Magistrate Bo Ward and released on $3,000 bail.

BRUCETON MILLS — A Bruceton Mills man was arrested on March 29 for domestic violence.

A West Virginia State Police trooper spoke to a woman who said she had a fight with 29-year-old Bryson Bell. She said Bell grabbed and pushed her, broke things in the house, and threw things on the floor. The officer observed a wooden shoe rack that had been broken.

The woman had bruises on her back and on the side of her biceps. Bell said he had a small scratch on his left hip.

Bryson was arraigned by Magistrate PL Grimm and released on $5,000 cash or bond.

HAZELTON — A Maryland woman was arrested March 31 after surveillance video allegedly showed her taking a wallet from another woman’s purse at a Hazelton bar.

In the wallet was more than $800 in cash, a ring worth $700, and an ID.


The woman knew her wallet was taken between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. A review of surveillance video inside the bar shows Rhonda Marie Casteel, 43, of Friendsville, Md., taking the wallet and leaving the bar, the criminal complaint states. .

Casteel was arraigned by Magistrate Bo Ward and held on $10,000 bond.

KINGWOOD — Kingwood police arrested two people out of state on April 4 for simple possession and obstructing an officer.

According to the criminal complaint, police responded to a suspicious vehicle near a Kingwood store. When officers arrived, the passenger, Matthew Paul Hinkle, 33, of Glenarden, Maryland, reportedly jumped out of the vehicle and began walking towards the officer.

Matthew Paul Hinkle


The officer ordered Hinkle back into the vehicle, but Hinkle allegedly continued to argue with the officer. After refusing several more times, Hinkle sat in the car, but left his leg on the pavement.

The officer asked Hinkle and the driver, Tramella Grace Copeland, 40, of Washington, DC, to put their hands on the dashboard, and they reportedly refused. The officer repeatedly told Copeland to stop digging with her hands in the back seat, but she refused to follow his orders, the complaint states.

Tramella Grace Copeland


Another officer arrived on the scene and repeatedly asked Copeland for her identity before it was released. Police said both people appeared to be under the influence.

The Preston County Sheriff’s Department was called for help and a dog reportedly indicated the smell of narcotics. At the scene, deputies said they could see a clearly labeled bag of California-packaged marijuana in Copeland’s purse.

During the search of the vehicle, a large plastic bag was found with a yellowish powdered substance that tested positive for cocaine and fentanyl, police said.

Both parties were arraigned by Magistrate Bo Ward and charged with simple possession and obstructing an officer. Copeland and Hinkle were being held on $3,000 bail each.

In a separate incident on April 4, Copeland and Hinkle were charged with attempted escape.

Hinkle was waiting to be charged at the sheriff’s department when he walked through the jail cells and pulled out a bundle of 2-inch metallic paper binders, the complaint states. Hinkle opened the package and reportedly gave one to Copeland.

An officer entered the cell area and said she saw Hinkle trying to hide the metal clip in her hand. The officer ordered Bracken to throw the clip away from his person, and he complied. Within seconds, the officer heard the distinct sound of a metallic object hitting the ground. As the officer looked at Copeland, it could be seen that Copeland had her hand and leg shackle hidden under the blanket where she was apparently trying to free the shackle with the clip provided by Hinkle.

On the attempted escape charge, Hinkle and Copeland were arraigned by Magistrate Bo Ward and held on $5,000 bail.

KINGWOOD – On April 4, Preston County Sheriff’s Department deputies stopped a vehicle for an expired inspection sticker.

During the arrest, a service dog gave the indication of a controlled substance. A search led to the location of 11.4 grams of suspected methamphetamine, empty bags and four bank cards.

The driver of the vehicle was Tabitha Marie Tayman, who was stopped by Magistrate Bo Ward and held on $50,000 bail.

EGLON — On April 4, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to assist a motorist.

The caller, later identified as Kimberly Sue Wiles, 53, of Terra Alta, said she ran her car off the roadway trying to turn around. The deputy found Wiles’ car completely off the road in a large drainage ditch. The deputy said Wiles seemed confused about the circumstances surrounding his current situation.

As Wiles exited the vehicle, the deputy reported detecting the smell of alcoholic beverages. Wiles reportedly failed field sobriety tests and took a preliminary 0.156 breath alcohol test. A secondary breath showed a result of 0.110, the deputy said.

She was arraigned by Magistrate Bo Ward and released on $1,500 bond.

KINGWOOD — On April 2, state police arrested an Albright man for misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs.

A soldier observed a vehicle cross the center line multiple times on W.Va. 7 between Terra Alta and Kingwood, nearly hitting vehicles in the opposite lane. The soldier stopped the vehicle at a Kingwood gas station and spoke to 22-year-old Christopher Scott Mankins.

The soldier claimed Mankins was showing signs of being under the influence. Mankins reportedly failed field sobriety tests and said he smoked a controlled substance before the evening.

He was arraigned by Magistrate Bo Ward and held on $3,000 bail.

TERRA ALTA — On February 27, state police and sheriff’s deputies served a warrant on Terra Alta.

Upon arriving at a residence, police spoke with a woman who said the wanted man, identified as 26-year-old Thomas Bradley Upole Jr., was inside. Upole was arrested on an outstanding warrant in Maryland for failing to appear for unlawful possession of a firearm. The officer was further informed that Upole was a lifetime registered sex offender. Witnesses said Upole had been living in Terra Alta since he was released from incarceration.

Thomas Bradley Upole


Upole was arraigned by Magistrate Bo Ward and held on $50,000 bond.

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