Fugitive search leads to arrests

PARKERSBURG – Two Parkersburg men were arrested by city police officers on drug charges while one Parkersburg woman, wanted as a fugitive of justice, also was arrested in the 1800 block of Blizzard Drive around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Parkersburg police detectives were conducting surveillance operations in south Parkersburg to locate Kaitlin Pryor, 18, 113 Elm Tree Drive, a fugitive from justice on felony grand larceny charges.

A traffic stop conducted after police spotted a white minivan suspected to be transporting Pryor led police to Pryor and two other individuals who were arrested on drug-related charges. The two men found in the vehicle, Victor Thompson, 35, 1213 Pike St., and Joseph Lemon, 23, 608 Shrewsbury St., were arrested on drug possession charges, officials said.

A search by law enforcement and a canine unit of the 2004 Dodge Caravan turned up in excess of 50 grams of suspected bath salts and small amounts of suspected heroin, police said.

Pryor was arrested on the outstanding felony grand larceny warrant from Feb. 24. According to court records, Pryor allegedly took a 1997 Buick Regal, refusing to return it to the owner. The dismantled car was located about one month later at Pryor’s residence, police said.

Thompson was charged with one felony count of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. Lemon was charged with two counts of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.

Thompson was arrested in the Sept. 20, 2012 death of Brandy Marie Adams, 25, of Parkersburg. He, along with Arthur Allen Thornton, 42, and Crystal Dawn Smith, 38, was indicted by the January Wood County grand jury on charges of concealment of a deceased human body and conspiracy to commit concealment of a deceased human body.

On April 15, Thompson, in custody at the time at the North Central Regional Jail, appeared before Circuit Court Judge Robert Waters for motions to dismiss and a state’s motion to admit two exhibits, a 911 recording and a defendant’s statement. Waters continued the hearing to a later date so the co-defendants, Thornton and Smith, could be present.

Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton said Thompson’s case was dismissed by Waters “on a motion filed by the defendant asserting an affirmative defense of contacting law enforcement within 48 hours of (Adams) death.”

Thompson was released soon after the April 15 hearing, he said. Wharton said Thornton entered a plea agreement and Smith’s case is pending.

Thompson was held after his arraignment Tuesday by Wood County Magistrate Joe Kuhl on a $50,000 bond. Confined to the Wood County Holding Center, Lemon was not able to make his $1,000 bond and Pryor was held on a $105,000 bond for all charges.