Man wanted for murder arrested in traffic stop on drug charges

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Duane E. Griffin Jr. of Akron, OH was arrested on controlled substance charges after a Jackson County, WV sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle on I-77. Deputies say he also had a warrant out of Summit, Ohio, for felony murder. Aug. 19, 2020 (Photo Courtesy: Jackson County Sheriff’s Office)

JACKSON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – A traffic stop in West Virginia has led to the arrest of two men on controlled substance charges, one of them an Ohio man wanted in connection with an alleged murder.

According to the criminal complaint, Duane E. Griffin Jr. of Akron, OH was arrested on controlled substance charges after a Jackson County, WV sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle on I-77. The deputy says the driver of the vehicle was exhibiting alleged “criminal indicators” as it passed by his cruiser.

According to the deputy, while speaking to the driver, identified as Stephan Green, he noticed a smell of what he suspected to be marijuana coming from the vehicle. Another deputy then arrived to assist with the stop.

The passenger in the vehicle, later identified as Griffin, allegedly originally gave his name as D’Anthony Eugene Edwards, but could not provide identification, the deputies said. They also say he allegedly told them he was on a trip to North Carolina to visit family.

Another deputy then arrived on scene with a K-9 to perform a free air sniff on the vehicle. The K-9 indicated alleged narcotics, according to the criminal complaint.

Deputies say they found a glass jar containing what they believed to be marijuana in the passenger side door compartment. They say they also allegedly found a pistol in the spare tire compartment, a black plastic lock box, a large plastic bag containing a white cristalized substance believed to be methamphetamine and three other individually packaged substances believed to be cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies found one pound and 1.6 ounces of methamphetamine, 3.96 grams of cocaine and 21.8 grams of marijuana during the search of the vehicle.

Both men were arrested and taken to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office where deputies then learned Griffin’s real name and of the warrant out of Summit, OH, for felony murder. He allegedly admitted to owning the suspected marijuana found in the passenger side door, but denied any knowledge of the gun or other narcotics, according to the complaint.

Griffin and Green have both been charged with three counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Deputies say Green also allegedly admitted to lying about Griffin’s identity and said Griffin’s sister had rented the vehicle, not his own sister as he originally told deputies.

According to deputies, both men allegedly changed their stories and continued to be evasive during interviews, with Griffin eventually admitting to owning the gun as well.

Deputies say following the interviews, Griffin asked if Green could go free if he admitted to owning the narcotics, but Griffin was allegedly unable to provide details or weights for the alleged substances.

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