“We got 49 pounds of marijuana off the streets,”: KCSO reacts to drug bust

Cpl. Lyons positioned with K-9 D'Jambo and the 48 bags of marijuana.
Cpl. Lyons positioned with K-9 D'Jambo and the 48 bags of marijuana.(Kanawha County Sheriff Office)
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A weekend traffic stop that lead to a drug bust is providing momentum for the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

A sheriff’s deputy noticed a pickup truck traveling southbound on Interstate 77 Saturday cross a solid white line.

“That gave him the probable cause to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle,” explained Sergeant Ana Pile of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office Monday.

The driver, identified as 51-year-old Keith Maupin from Flint, Michigan was then pulled over.

“At that point, Deputy Barbagallo observed what he believed to be a marijuana cigarette, he also upon making contact with the driver, the driver appeared to be nervous.”

According to Pile, another responding officer who works in the K-9 unit responded to the scene with his partner and performed a free air sniff around the truck and discovered 49 pounds of individually wrapped in 48 bags in the truck’s bed.

The drugs are valued at more than $122,000.

“49 pounds of marijuana is a significant drug bust for the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office,” Pile said.

“It absolutely leads us to believe that there was the intent to sell.”

Maupin claimed to be heading toward Beckley.

Pile said it was not clear if the marijuana was laced with any other drugs.

“We do know that our highways [interstate] 77, 64, 79, are a pathway for the delivery of illegal narcotics,” she said.

“There’s no doubt about it, we get drugs from Detroit, Michigan, Columbus, Ohio, over in Baltimore, Maryland, they all tend to pass through here and who knows where their final destination may be.”

Pile said the situation proves the effectiveness of having K-9 officers.

“I can’t emphasize the importance of canines to this department, the effectiveness of the canine and and then it takes the canine handler being very astute in watching their dog, they do a lot of training with their dog,” she said.

“In this instance, what they did is in seizing 49 pounds of marijuana, it also took away about $122,000 out of drug dealers’ pockets.”

Pile said it is unknown if Maupin is connected to any drug trafficking ring.

In spite of people’s personal opinions, Maupin said the law is the law and those who break it need to be brought to justice.

“Marijuana possession in West Virginia is still illegal,” she said. “Breaking the law is important to us, no matter what the severity or the extent is, and anyone traveling with 49 pounds of marijuana, it is a felony.”

Maupin is charged with felony possession with intent to deliver.

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