Water super charged in drug deal on town property
The Town of Bath's water superintendent was arrested and charged with delivery of a controlled substance, a felony, at midday on Monday, May 21.
Kevin R. Hancock, 44, of McCumbee Lane, Berkeley Springs, was arrested after Morgan County Sheriff's deputies chased him in a town vehicle through downtown Berkeley Springs.
Hancock was charged with taking part in a drug deal by buying an illegal prescription drug – Percocet – at the Town of Bath's Water Works.
Percocet is a combination of Oxycodone, an addictive pain killer, and Acetaminophen.
Also charged with delivery of a controlled substance was Bradley Scott Duckwall, 21, of Vernon Street, Berkeley Springs. Duckwall, a former town employee, allegedly sold the Percocet to Hancock.
Began with tip
The chain of action began about 10:45 a.m. on Monday when Chief Deputy Vince Shambaugh got an anonymous tip that Bradley Duckwall had been dealing Percocet to Hancock, his former boss.
Police were told that Duckwall's family were concerned that he had been crushing the pills and snorting the drug on a regular basis, according to the criminal complaint that Chief Deputy Shambaugh filed in Magistrate Court on Monday afternoon.
A few minutes after receiving the tip, Shambaugh was again called and told that Duckwall was walking from his home on Vernon Street to the Berkeley Springs Water Works at the corner of Wilkes and Fairfax streets.
Deputy Seth Place found Duckwall heading south on Harrison Avenue, near Williams Street, shortly after 11 a.m.
Duckwall admitted to Shambaugh and Place that he had "percs" in his jeans pocket and consented to a search, according to court documents.
Shambaugh allegedly found a plastic bag with 6 1/2 yellow pills that Duckwall said were "percs." Duckwall said Hancock had already paid him $70 for the pills, police said.
After the pills had been verified, Duckwall agreed to proceed to the Water Works and make the transaction, according to the criminal complaint.
Water Works stakeout
Deputy Place, wearing plainclothes, was stationed on foot so he could see the Water Department from the corner of Wilkes and Fairfax streets. He watched the transaction take place, according to police reports.
After receiving the pills, Hancock drove north on Wilkes Street at a high rate of speed, with Place following on foot yelling for him to stop, according to the complaint.
Hancock was driving a white Honda SUV owned by the Town of Bath. The Honda almost struck Shambaugh's cruiser when the chief deputy pulled onto Wilkes Street with his emergency lights on, police said.
Hancock drove on to Rt. 9, near Bath Town Hall, and turned right without stopping. Only when he was caught in traffic at a red light did he pull over, according to the criminal complaint.
After they had handcuffed Hancock, the deputies allegedly found the 6 1/2 "percs" in his pocket.
Taken directly to Magistrate Court, Hancock and Duckwall both had bonds set by Magistrate Kermit Ambrose.
Hancock is free on $5,000 cash bond, while Duckwall is free on $5,000 personal recognizance bond.
Hancock has been suspended with pay by Town of Bath until the case is resolved.