RACHEL C. DOVE
KERMIT - A man wanted on a felony indictment warrant out of Menifee County, Ky., on the run since 2008, experienced his final moments of freedom Thursday morning when he was indicted for trafficking a controlled Schedule II substance (Hydrocodone), second offense.
According to information released by Kermit Police Chief C.E. Chambers and Deputy E. Williams of the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department, Williams received a call Wednesday from the Menifee County Sheriff’s Department, informing him they had been contacted by an unnamed resident of Mingo County that a wanted fugitive, John David Chaffin, 34, was living with family members in the community of East Kermit.
Williams contacted Chambers to enquire if he was familiar with Chaffin, and provided the information passed on to him from Kentucky. Chambers said that he began his investigation regarding the fugitive and was actually in the process of writing up the arrest warrant after receiving the agreement to extradite from Kentucky when he observed Chaffin in a vehicle that drove past his cruiser, where he was parked alongside Rt. 52 inside the Kermit town limits.
“I initiated a felony traffic stop because we had been advised that the defendant may resist arrest,” said Chambers. “Thankfully, the process went smoothly without any problem at all.”
Chaffin was arraigned before Magistrate Dallas Toler who ordered him to be transported to the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden where the defendant would be held without bond while awaiting his extradition back to Kentucky.
Chambers said that, when he was alerted that Chaffin was living in the Kermit area, it became an immediate priority for him to locate and arrest the fugitive.
“This was an individual who had sold a Schedule II substance to an undercover officer more than once. If this is a trend for him, if he did this in the past, there’s no guarantee he wasn’t continuing to sell drugs here in Kermit,” said Chambers.
“That’s not a chance I’m willing to take with the safety of our citizens, and I’m relieved he’s behind bars and will face the charges against him in Kentucky.”
Chambers voiced his appreciation for the vital tip from Williams, and for his help in obtaining the agreement from Kentucky to extradite.
“For some reason, the fugitive’s name had not been entered into the National Crime Information Center computer system, so this subject may have drove through police check-points, and could have even been stopped for a traffic violation and set free.
“Without the fugitive from justice warrant showing up in the system, there wouldn’t have been any way of knowing it had been filed against him.”
According to Toler, the officials from Menifee County have 30 days to pick up their fugitive from the Southwestern Jail. Until this happens, he will remain a guest of the State of West Virginia.