Pair charged with felonies

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man and woman are facing felony charges in Martin County.

Levi Scott Thate, 31, has been charged with drug possession in the second degree, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. He also has been charged with drug possession in the third degree, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In addition, Thate has been charged with drug possession in the fifth degree, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Tasha Ann Copley, 19, has been charged with aiding an offender on probation, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On April 29, a Fairmont police officer initiated a traffic stop based on the driver’s suspicious driving conduct. As the officer approached the car, he observed that the driver had his phone on speaker and heard him tell someone named “Levi” that he was getting stopped “right by his house.” The driver was asking “Levi” to come get the truck.

The officer was aware of rumors that Thate was staying in the 600 block of Pioneer Drive in Fairmont with his girlfriend, Copley. The residence was just up the hill from the traffic stop, and the officer was aware there was an active warrant for Thate’s arrest.

The officer asked the driver to end the call and asked who he was talking to. The driver indicated he was talking to Thate and the truck he was driving belonged to him.

The officer asked the driver if Thate was at the residence in question. The driver said he was. The officer asked other officers who had arrived to determine if Thate was at the residence.

Two deputies went to the house, one to the back door and one to the front. As one deputy approached the rear of the house, he observed an individual coming from the path that led to the lower level of the house, later identified as Thate. When ordered to put down a bag and an e-cigarette, Thate began insisting that he be allowed to put them back inside, but eventually cooperated.

The officer later observed Thate move a meth pipe from his left pant pocket to his sweatshirt pocket. Thate was then detained as he continued to fail to follow directions about not placing his hands in his pockets. Thate was patted down and officers located the pipe, containing a white residue.

Thate admitted to smoking meth earlier that day. Also discovered on him was a black pouch containing a green leafy substance in a small plastic baggie, a glass pipe, a baggie containing six white pills and a small container containing a green leafy substance.

The bag that Thate was carrying contained a scale, a small blue case with different-sized weights, and 18 fake $100 dollar, which all had the same serial number on them. The bag also contained more drug paraphernalia and a container with a white crystal substance inside.

A search warrant was obtained for the residence.

The first officer entered the residence and announced his presence, calling out to Copley. Copley came out and was later advised of her rights and was interviewed. Copley admitted she knew Thate had warrants out for his arrest and was on probation, stating she did not know how long he had been staying with her.

Previously, on April 15, a warrant had been issued for Thate’s arrest. That day, the officer had contacted a relative of Copley’s and the landlord of the residence. After informing both people of the situation, the relative said she did not know where they Copley and Thate were, but would find out.

On April 29, the officer spoke with the relative again. During that conversation, the relative said she had told Copley that Thate had warrants.

Officers then searched the residence and discovered six items of marijuana paraphernalia and three items of meth paraphernalia.

Copley later admitted she smokes marijuana regularly, but does not use meth anymore. She said she did not know if she would test positive for meth. She also admitted she is the only one the lease at the residence.

Thate was later interviewed at the Martin County jail. He indicated the items he had were old and had been in storage. He also indicated he had not been at the residence long and had not had a job for five years.

He said the money found on him was fake and a friend left it at the house a while back.

The total amount of meth discovered on or about Thate weighed 11.24 grams. The six pills discovered in his possession were identified as acetaminophen/hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance.

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