Two Cass residents plead guilty to drug charges
Elkins, W.Va. – There have been recent developments in federal and state criminal court cases involving six local individuals.
In federal district court in Elkins on February 11, Kelley Leigh Cohenour, age 35, and William J. Russell, age 38, of Cass, both pled guilty to “Possession of Material Used in the Manufacture of Methamphetamine”. Cohenour and Russell, who are on bond pending sentencing, face up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner and investigated by the West Virginia State Police and the Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Office.
In Pocahontas County Circuit Court on February 7, Judge Joseph C. Pomponio dismissed charges of Fraudulent Scheme against four former Cass Scenic Railroad State Park employees. In December, the Pocahontas County grand jury indicted11 former and current park employee on a variety of charges, following a State Police investigation of stolen scrap steel. Indictments were prepared by former prosecutor Donna Price.
Counsel for George Bartels argued the Fraudulent Scheme indictment against his client was fatally flawed, due to the lack of the essential elements of fraudulent pretense, representation or promise. Prosecutor Eugene Simmons, who took over the case, requested the court change the charge to Transferring/Receiveing Stolen Property, but Judge Pomponio dismissed the charge against Bartels.
The court subsequently dismissed the Fraudulent Scheme charges against Michael Cromer, Bradley McDaniels and Michael Wolfe. The court also dismissed a Petit Larceny charge against Cromer. The four defendants remain charged with felony conspiracy in the matter.