A Belington man arrested on a methamphetamine charge Monday is "one and the same" man who may have caused a two-vehicle accident involving a motorcycle on Saturday, police said.
Deputy J.C. Kennedy with the Barbour County Sheriff's Office said Stephen Joe Tacy, 39, was charged Monday night with operating a clandestine lab, a felony.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the Barbour County Magistrate Clerk's office and a press release from Philippi Police Chief Jeff Walters, Patrolman J.A. Prickett and Patrolman S. Gillis were on routine traffic patrol at about 9:30 p.m. Monday when they saw a 1999 green Dodge Dakota traveling north on U.S. Route 119 near the Alderson-Broaddus College baseball field. The officers reportedly saw the vehicle swerve across the center line twice and then swerve within its lane.
Upon initiating a traffic stop, Prickett noted that Tacy, the driver, was "very nervous." Tacy gave written permission for the officers to search his vehicle, and when they proceeded to do so, they found "multiple components" of a clandestine meth lab, including pseudoephedrine, cold packs, plastic tubing and lithium batteries "among other items," Prickett wrote in the report.
In the Tuesday press release, Walters described the lab as "active" and noted the Barbour County Sheriff's Office and the Elkins and Philippi detachments of the West Virginia State Police assisted with cleanup and evidence collection.
Tacy allegedly confessed to operating the lab, according to the criminal complaint, and Barbour County Magistrate Kathi McBee set bond at $10,000 property or surety.
On Tuesday, Kennedy said Tacy may "possibly" be facing the additional charge of reckless driving, which could stem from an accident that happened just after 2 p.m. Saturday about a half-mile outside Belington city limits.
Tacy was allegedly behind the wheel of a truck that pulled out in front of a motorcycle at the intersection of Route 92 and Stringtown Road. Richard Sigley, a Monongalia County resident, was operating the motorcycle, and Darla Duvall was his passenger, Kennedy said.
"From what we understand, the motorcycle was traveling on Route 92 at which time the truck (driven by Tacy) pulled off of Stringtown Road and into the motorcycle's path," he said.
Charges have yet to be pressed against Tacy in relation to the wreck because the sheriff's office is still in the midst of collecting statements from witnesses who observed the accident, Kennedy said.
Duvall and Sigley both suffered injuries and were transported to area hospitals for treatment. Duvall was life-flighted to Ruby Memorial Hospital, but was no longer listed in the hospital's patient database Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
As of presstime, Tacy remained lodged in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
The penalty for a conviction of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine lab is confinement in the state penitentiary for two to 10 years, a fine between $5,000 and $25,000 or both.
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