Mill Creek couple facing multiple charges

M. Raines

ELKINS — A Mill Creek couple is facing charges after allegedly being found in possession of a variety of controlled substances, as well as firearms, in a bedroom used by three juveniles.

Melissa Renee Raines, 33, and Danny Ray Raines, 35, are each charged with one felony count of child neglect causing risk of injury. They are both incarcerated at Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $50,000 cash-only bonds, set by Randolph County Magistrate George M. “Mike” Riggleman.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Randolph County Magistrate Court, on Nov. 12, a search warrant was served on a Blossum Road residence in Randolph County, owned by the Raines.

The warrant was served as part of a follow-up investigation from earlier the same day when David Alan Conti, 31, of Mill Creek, was found at the residence after leading police on a high-speed pursuit. He is charged with one felony count of fleeing in a vehicle, which is still pending in Randolph County Magistrate Court.

Earlier in the day on Nov. 12, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. B.A. Talkington, Deputy S.D. Kyle and Deputy Z.T. Pingley were at the home when they discovered Conti pretending to sleep in the children’s bedroom. He was convicted — and is a registered sexual offender — in South Carolina for attempting a lewd act on a child under 16 years of age.

D. Raines

While being arrested, Conti made statements that he sometimes slept in the children’s room. Three children live at the residence and are 13, 11 and 3 years of age. Pingley notes in the report that there are only two beds in the residence and at least six people inhabit the home full-time.

Officers searched the children’s bedroom and located a handwritten note from the 11-year-old to a grandmother that said, “When I went back there they had the bathroom door closed and locked it also smelled weird. They were talking about something. I am not sure of because I couldn’t understand them bc (sic) they were mumbling. But I think they were doing drugs,” according to the complaint.

Also in the room, officers located three “bongs with residue,” five meth pipes, a bag of marijuana seeds, a bag of black tar heroin, empty clear plastic bags, miscellaneous prescription pills that were cut in half and stored in an unmarked bottle, Diphenhydramine pills, an unloaded revolver and a “loaded 30-30.” All of the items were “within easy access to the children,” the complaint states.

Officers unloaded the firearm and took the ammunition from the home “to prevent a possible shooting accident in the future.”

Law enforcement also searched a camper, belonging to Conti, which was located beside the residence and found multiple used syringes, according to the complaint.

Pingley wrote in the report that it is his belief that “Danny and Melissa Raines have grossly neglected the children living in this residence and by that gross neglect create a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury due to the drug use, gun safety, and sex offender access to the children’s bedroom.”

If convicted, each of the Raines could be sentenced to not less than one nor more than five years in the state penitentiary, fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000, or both.

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