Traffic stop results in two heroin arrests

PARKERSBURG – A total of $24,200 worth of suspected heroin was seized Thursday during and after a drug arrest on Interstate 77 outside of Parkersburg, officials said.

A total of 60 grams of suspected heroin was discovered during the incident, with 37 grams recovered at the scene and 23 grams being removed from the female suspect’s bra during processing at the holding center later, said Lt. Greg Collins with the Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force.

Cherry Stephanie Marra, 29, of 513 Elder St., Parkersburg, was arrested on three felony counts of delivery of heroin related to the alleged sale of the drug to the narcotics task force earlier this summer, one felony count of possession with intent to deliver heroin, and two misdemeanor counts of failing to appear in court, Collins said.

Thomas Henry Persicke, 31, of 875 Staunton Turnpike, Parkersburg, was arrested on one felony charge of possession with intent to deliver heroin, Collins said.

Persicke and Marra were arraigned in front of Wood County Magistrate Joyce Purkey on Thursday evening.

Persicke was assigned a $165,000 bond. He asked repeatedly to have it reduced because he had a family, but was not granted his request.

Marra was assigned a total bond of $708,000. Her bonds were $4,000 for each missed court date and $175,000 for each of her four felony counts. Marra claimed she missed the court dates due to an incorrect mailing address which failed to deliver notice of the court dates to her.

The West Virginia State Police stopped a vehicle in the southbound lanes near the Williamstown exit of I-77 shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday, said Collins.

Marra was a passenger in the vehicle during the stop, and troopers discovered she had active, unspecified warrants for her arrest in Wood County, Collins said.

Troopers requested a canine officer be brought to the scene, and the canine indicated there were drugs in the vehicle, Collins said.

Marra was arrested at the scene and an initial search of her person revealed 16 small bags of suspected heroin, Collins said.

Persicke was also a passenger in the vehicle, Collins said. Persicke was questioned at the scene and eventually produced what was described as “a significant amount of suspected heroin from his groin area,” Collins said.

The driver of the vehicle was not identified in the press release regarding the incident on Thursday, and it is unclear if the driver faces any charges.

A total of 37 grams of suspected heroin was seized at the scene of the stop, with an estimated street value of $15,000, Collins said.

Persicke was taken to the Wood County Holding Center to await arraignment, while Marra was taken to Camden Clark Medical Center for medical clearance before being taken to the holding center to await her arraignment, Collins said.

While Marra was being processed at the holding center, officers discovered an additional 23 grams of suspected heroin hidden inside the fabric of the black bra she was wearing, Collins said. This heroin is valued at $9,200, Collins said.

These arrests were part of a coordinated drug interdiction operation aimed at catching drug dealers who were bringing drugs into Wood County from across the state line, Collins said. The Parkersburg Violent Crimes and Narcotics Task Force and the West Virginia State Police were assisted by the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, the Parkersburg Police Department, and a canine unit from the St. Marys Police Department during the investigation, Collins said.