Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 1, 2013

Police respond to CO detector, seize 5 pounds pot

by BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A carbon monoxide detector that sounded Thursday afternoon at a Bluefield apartment complex, led to a Halloween marijuana bust that yielded 5 pounds of pot and put two city residents behind bars.

“The Bluefield Fire Department responded to a CO alarm this afternoon at an apartment building located at 314 Frederick St.,” Patrolman K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department said. “The fire department detected the smell of a burning substance at the building and had concerns that it might be coming from a meth lab, so they contacted our department to respond.

“Myself and Patrolman J.S. Bish initiated an investigation,” Adams said. “We entered the residence where the smell was coming from and observed a large amount of marijuana,” Adams said. “We obtain-ed a search warrant, and along with Patrol-man M.L. Ramsey, we executed the search warrant. During our search of the residence, we found several large containers of marijuana in a refrigerator, other smaller bags of marijuana packed in smaller containers, along with packaging equipment, scales and a firearm.”

Adams said that Latoya Hairston, 27, and Lashawn Ballance, 37, both of Bluefield, were arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The two suspects were being processed on Thursday night.

Fire department personnel contacted the police at about 2:30 p.m. according to Adams. In addition to the marijuana, scales, packaging equipment and firearm, police also seized a police scanner. Adams said the marijuana was valued at $5,000.

The case remains under investigation.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com