Drug bust leads to two arrests

PARKERSBURG -Two Parkersburg residents allegedly involved in a drug distribution network were arrested Tuesday morning in south Parkersburg, officials said.

Brian K. Riel, 44, 1213 Camden Ave., and Kaitlin Pryor, 18, 113 Elm Tree Drive, were taken into custody on drug charges by law enforcement agencies around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Riel and Pryor were found inside Riel’s home and arrested following the discovery of an undisclosed amount of bath salts, suspected marijuana, pills and $5,000, police said.

Sgt. Greg Collins, spokesman for the Parkersburg Police Department, said the warrant and arrest were part of an ongoing investigation into the distribution of bath salts in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“It’s a big deal,” he said. “This bath salt distribution ring has many, many players.”

The raid was a continuation of the investigation into other recent distribution and abuse of bath salts in Wood County, Collins said. The investigation was conducted jointly over the past two months by several agencies with the help and support of police canine units from the city police, sheriff’s office and state police.

Collins said the team has worked together in piecing the puzzle together.

“It is our intention, regardless of the uniform we wear, to work together to end the misery caused by these dealers and addicts,” Collins said.

Collins said county officials and police officers will continue to “take this organization apart piece by piece.”

Riel was arrested on five outstanding felony warrants issued on him by the Doddridge County Sheriff’s Office, all for possession with intent to deliver controlled substances.

Criminal complaints filed by Deputy Tammy Satterfield allege that on or about April 29 Riel entered the bathroom at the Doddridge County Courthouse leaving a baggie of contraband intended to be picked up by another inmate during court proceedings.

The baggie contained two white pills, two blue pills, a yellow oblong pill, suspected marijuana, suspected heroin, a lighter and tobacco, officials said. Following an investigation, which included video surveillance footage, the five felony warrants were issued for Riel.

Officers discovered two smaller containers of suspected bath salts that have not been weighed/processed yet. The evidence was taken by the West Virginia State Police to be processed, officials said.

Riel was processed by Parkersburg police officers and arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court Tuesday on the five felony warrants. He was issued a $25,000 cash only bond, which he did not post, according to court records.

Riel was additionally charged with felony possession with intent to deliver from the search warrant Tuesday and given a $100,000 bond he did not post, police said.

Pryor was out on bond for a felony grand larceny charge after an arrest on April 30 by Parkersburg police detectives. She was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance charge and issued a $10,000 cash only bond, which she did not post, police said.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Wood County Magistrate Court on the revocation of Pryor’s previous $105,000 bond, officials said. If Pryor were to post the $25,000 cash only bond, she would have to answer for her bond violation and potentially be given the felony charge again, police said.

Pryor was arrested last Tuesday after a traffic stop was conducted in the 1800 block of Blizzard Drive on a fugitive from justice charge for felony grand larceny.

Officers with the West Virginia State Police, the Parkersburg Police Department, Wood County Sheriff’s Office, Parkersburg Violent Crimes and Narcotics Task Force and S.W.A.T. groups from the police and sheriff’s department were involved in the investigation.