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Authorities arrest two on drug, child neglect charges

HARRISVILLE — A drug seizure was conducted earlier this month by the Ritchie and Pleasants County sheriff’s departments, in which officers found large amounts of marijuana, fentanyl, psilocybin mushrooms and paraphernalia. Two were arrested and also charged with child neglect as they have custody of an 16-month-old and an 8-year-old who were in close proximity of the drugs.

Hali Rachelle Hogue, 27, 158 Mikayla Lane Apt. 203, Harrisville, was pulled over June 11 after Sgt. E.L. Coplin of the Pleasants County received a call about a vehicle that was traveling at high speeds and was swerving on the road, according to the criminal complaint filed with the Pleasants County Magistrate Court.

The caller witnessed Hogue stagger out of the vehicle as she appeared to be under the influence, the complaint said.

When the officer came to the vehicle, Hogue appeared to be slumped over in the drivers seat, the complaint seat. Steven Michael Hogue, 29, 133 Sunview Lane, Harrisville, was in the passenger’s seat and a small infant was in the back seat, the complaint said.

Hali was slow to respond during her conversation with the officer and he noticed her pupils which appeared pinpoint which is a sign of opiate abuse, the complaint said.

Steven then took a handgun out of a holster and waved it around the inside of the vehicle, after which the officer recovered the weapon and pulled Steven from the vehicle, the complaint said.

The officer seized somewhere around 22 grams of marijuana, fentanyl which was found in small bags in different places all around the vehicle including directly below the 16-month-old infant in the back seat which placed the child in risk of inhalation or consumption, the complaint said.

“Any time we can get fentanyl off the streets, it’s a good day,” Coplin said.

Hali and Steven admitted to abusing substances and Hali failed a field sobriety test, the complaint said.

After the two were arrested, Coplin contacted the Ritchie County Sheriff’s Department since they reside in Harrisville. Sgt. Cox obtained a search warrant for their home at 158 Mikayla Lane Apt. 203, according to a Facebook post on the Ritchie County Sheriff’s Department page.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Ritchie County Magistrate Court, officers found three bags of marijuana on the kitchen table and in a decorative box in the living room close to the children’s toys and a container of fentanyl in the bathroom, the complaint said.

They also located several needles, spoons with burn marks and syringes in the bathroom cabinet, the complaint said.

About one pound total of marijuana was found and one gram a fentanyl, the complaint said.

“All of the substances found were within reach of the minor children placing the children in severe risk of death or serious bodily injury via inhalation or consumption,” the complaint said.

Hali is being charged with possession with intent to deliver, marijuana and fentanyl, child neglect and driving under the influence. She is being held at North Central Regional Jail on a $63,000 bond.

Steven is being charged with possession with the intent to deliver, marijuana and fentanyl, child neglect and prohibited persons possessing a firearm. He is being held at the North Central Regional Jail on a $163,000 surety bond.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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