Area man charged in drug bust

BUCKHANNON – An Ellamore man is behind bars after a West Virginia State Police air crew spotted marijuana plants growing on his property, police said.

Lenny David Baer, 49, was arrested Wednesday. According to an incident report provided by the state police, officers were conducting marijuana eradication efforts in Upshur County when a helicopter crew spotted several plants growing near his residence.

“The ground crew made contact with the owners of the residence and obtained signed consent to search the residence and other property,” the report states. “Recovered were 23 marijuana plants, approximately five ounces of processed marijuana, other paraphernalia and a firearm.”

Baer was taken into custody and charged with a felony count of manufacturing a controlled substance. According to a criminal complaint filed in Upshur County Magistrate Court, Baer admitted to officers that he grew the marijuana.

Baer was arraigned by Magistrate Mike Coffman and posted a $20,000 bond, of which $15,000 was personal recognizance and $5,000 surety.

Trooper R.A. Moss said the aerial bust was part of a state-wide effort to eradicate the drug.

“It was all part of a larger aerial eradication effort in the state,” Moss told The Inter-Mountain Thursday. “We are pleased we could have a successful conclusion in Upshur County.”

Moss said other charges may follow after the case is presented to the grand jury.