Three arrested in bath salt bust

PARKERSBURG – Wood County Sheriff’s Office arrested three people Monday on charges involving bath salts.

Deputies responded to a suspicious vehicle call in the area of 125 Dallison Road at about 3:34 p.m. Monday, police said.

Robert Eugene Kelso, 32, of Columbus, Roger Allen Daniels, 50, of Charleston and Nioka Lynn Wriker, 32, of Salem, W.Va., were each arrested on a charge of possession with the intent to deliver bath salts.

Deputies made contact with the three occupants in a 1997 Ford Ranger truck. While speaking with the individuals, deputies observed what appeared to be a glass smoking device with a whitish substance in the passenger side floor board of the vehicle, according to police reports.

All three suspects were arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court on Monday night and were being held on $200,000 bail. All three have been transported to the regional jail.

Chief Law Enforcement Deputy Shawn Graham with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office said Sgt. David Bussey was called to the suspicious vehicle by a concerned resident. The public played a huge factor in the drug bust, Graham said.

“Sgt. Bussey observed the smoking device leading (deputies) to further the investigation,” Graham said. “As they checked the vehicle, a tire in the bed of the truck was damaged and that’s where the bath salts were located.”

Graham said the smoking device, among other things, warranted deputies to check the tire, discovering two plastic bags containing 162 individual packets of bath salts worth $16,000.

The arrests have allowed area departments to make significant progress against the bath salts distribution ring in the valley, Graham said.

“We need to thank the public for this one,” Graham said. “If you think someone is up to something or doing something illegal, contact the sheriff’s office or anonymous tips can be left (with any area law enforcement agency).”

Graham said Monday’s drug arrests resulted because a road patrol deputy was alert and doing his job.

“(Drugs) are a fight we have every day,” Graham said. “All local departments are committed to working together to target the bath salts distribution.”

Police are making progress in the fight against illegal drugs in the Mid-Ohio Valley, officials said.

Graham said with any arrest, a follow-up investigation will be conducted. He said he could not comment on if officials know where the drugs came from, citing the ongoing investigation.