Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 7, 2014

Matoaka police chief arrests Navy deserter following routine traffic stop

MATOAKA — A former Mercer County man who made an illegal U-turn in front of law enforcement on Friday night, lost his independence on Independence Day when a routine national computer crime database check revealed he was a deserter from the U.S. military.

Jackie Combs Jr., 39, formerly of Rock, has been a resident of the Bluefield City Jail since Friday night when Matoaka Police Chief John Sommers arrested him following a routine traffic stop.

“I was doing my normal patrol in town when I observed a dark vehicle making an illegal U-turn as I approached,” Sommers said. “I initiated a traffic stop at the top of Matoaka Mountain.”

After making the stop, Sommers made a routine NCIC (National Crime Information Center) check to see if there were any outstanding wants and warrants for the subject, and got a hit that he was wanted by the Navy.

“He had been out for quite a while,” Sommers said. “He had just failed to report for duty.”

Sommers said that he has an appointment at 8 a.m. this morning to talk with the Navy about Combs. “They’ll let me know if the M.P.s (Military Police) will pick him up or what they will be doing,” Sommers said.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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