Three arrested on drug charges

BUCKHANNON – Three Upshur County individuals were arrested on drug charges Wednesday night after a suspicious chemical odor was reported at a residence just outside of Adrian, police said.

Kathy Dunham, 26, Corey Bender, 22, and Nicole Brannon, 37, all of Buckhannon, were each charged with one felony count of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory.

According to the criminal complaint, Sgt. Marshall W. Powers, of the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, went to Brannon’s residence, located along Rt. 20 South, near the town of Adrian, after police received the report. When Brannon answered the door, evidence of the chemical odor grew stronger, police said.

According to the complaint, Powers then asked Brannon for consent to search for others inside the residence. Inside, Powers and another officer found Dunham and discovered a “smoke bottle used in clandestine drug laboratories in a back room while clearing the rest of the residence.”

A search warrant was obtained and a West Virginia State Police trooper was “contacted to dismantle the drug laboratory,” police wrote. During a search of the residence, several items used in the making of methamphetamines were found, including “two bottles containing liquids and solid substance, a Drain Cleaner bottle, a Coleman Fuel bottle, a coffee filter containing white and red residue, an unused baggie of Sudefedran, and numerous baggies,” the complaint states.

Bender was also found to have “a small baggie containing white substance that he advised was ‘crank’ and that it was what they had left from what they had just made,” according to the complaint.

All three individuals are currently housed in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail. Bond for Dunham was set in the amount of $50,000 cash or surety. Bond for Bender was set at $50,000 cash only, and Brannon is yet to be arraigned, officials said.