Elkins man faces drug, firearms charges

ELKINS — Charges have been filed against an Elkins man who was discovered to be wanted in New York and allegedly found in possession of drugs and a firearm.

Christopher Daniel Smith, 34, is charged with one felony count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and one felony count of person prohibited from possessing firearms. He is incarcerated at Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond, set by Randolph County Magistrate Ben Shepler.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Randolph County Magistrate Court, Senior Deputy D.L. VanMeter, of the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, assisted the Elkins Police Department with an eviction notice Wednesday at 609 Wilson St., Apartment No. 7, in Elkins.

A male individual who identified himself to be “Malcolm Mitchell” was packing to leave the residence and laid a “black computer-like case” on the floor. Officers asked him what brought him to “this location” and he said he had “hustled drugs,” police said.

The computer bag fell over and a handgun was observed by officers. The handgun was identified as a Taurus .45 semi-automatic. The man denied knowledge of the gun being in the residence, police said. VanMeter asked the man if he had been in trouble anywhere else, and he responded he had spent five years in prison in Virginia.

Officers attempted to locate a criminal history for “Malcolm Mitchell” but nothing was found. VanMeter asked for his real name and he said it was Christopher Smith at that time. He added he had actually been charged in New York, the complaint states.

After running Smith’s name and birth date, officers learned he was a wanted person out of New York, police said. Smith had a large amount of United States currency in his pocket, and officers located a small amount of marijuana and ammunition in plain view within the residence.

VanMeter obtained a search warrant for the residence, which was granted in Randolph County Magistrate Court.

While searching the residence, officers located a Taurus PT738 .380-caliber handgun, which was loaded with ammunition; a Mossberg International 7175T .22 LR; 14 packages containing a substance suspected to be heroin; a set of scales; and one package containing a substance suspected to be crystal methamphetamine also inside the computer case, according to the complaint.

Smith’s residence is located within 1,000 feet of Elkins Middle School, the police report states.

Smith’s criminal history report indicates he was convicted of strangulation, second-offense, in New York with a sentencing date of Dec. 10, 2012. He also had a third-degree possession of a firearm felony conviction in New York with a sentencing date of April 1, 2005, the complaint states.

If convicted on the drug charge, Smith could be sentenced to not less than one nor more than 15 years in the state penitentiary, fined not more than $25,000, or both.

If convicted on the firearm charge, Smith could be sentenced to not more than five years, fined not more than $5,000, or both.