Elkins man charged after pursuit

ELKINS – An Elkins man was arrested on drug charges Tuesday after allegedly fleeing from police both in a vehicle and on foot, police said.

James Ernest Wegman, 50, was arrested on one count of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamines, a felony. Wegman was arraigned by Chief Randolph County Magistrate Ben Shepler and was being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $50,000 cash only bond at presstime.

According to the criminal complaint, West Virginia State Police officers were traveling south on Route 219 near the Beverly Five-Lane and came upon a blue Chevy S-10 truck with the driver and passenger not wearing a seat belt.

Cpl. M. S. Wetzel, the investigating officer who wrote the complaint, attempted to initiate a traffic stop, when the driver, later identified as Wegman, “refused to stop and traveled onto Glenmore Loop Rd. (sic) while traveling in the opposite lane at times,” the complaint states.

As the pursuit continued, Wegman drove back onto Route 219, running a red light in the process, according to the complaint.

Wetzel wrote that he identified two passengers who were attempting to exit the vehicle, but Wegman “accelerated on the slippery roads almost throwing (one of the passengers) out of the vehicle.”

Wegman then “immediately turned into Domino’s Pizza, exited the vehicle, and fled on foot,” according to the complaint. Officers were eventually able to apprehend Wegman and return him back to the truck, where police discovered a “clear plastic bag, with a crystal like (sic) substance lying on the floor board” of the vehicle, Wetzel wrote.

Police searched Wegman and located an “ice pipe in his right front jacket pocket,” and in the vehicle found “a second bag of a crystal like (sic) substance, baggies used for packaging methamphetamine, U.S. currency, digital scales with white residue on top, and a clear plastic bag containing a green vegetation which indicated the presence of THC in a field test,” according to the criminal complaint.

Wegman’s driver’s history indicated he “was revoked for DUI” on March 27, 2008, and “remains revoked until reinstated,” Wetzel wrote.

Contact Chad Clem by email at cclem@theintermountain.com.