POINT PLEASANT — A traffic stop in Point Pleasant last weekend netted around $4,000 worth of heroin, some cash and an arrest.
Allan O. Wasonga, 21, of Point Pleasant, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver. Wasonga had previously been a football standout at Point Pleasant High School and Parkerburg High School. At one time, he had committed to play football at Marshall University.
According to the official criminal complaint filed in Mason County Magistrate Court, Patrolman J.T. Veith, of the Point Pleasant Police Department, spotted Wasonga allegedly not wearing a seat belt while driving a black Chevy Malibu on Viand Street. Veith pulled Wasonga over on Jefferson Avenue and saw two other male passengers inside the vehicle.
Veith contacted Cpl. B.L. Keefer, of the West Virginia State Police, to assist along with Trooper S.C. Allen and WVSP K-9 Officer Cpl. J. L. Finnicum. The complaint says Finnicum walked the K-9 around the car, with the dog hitting on two areas of the vehicle.
Officers then searched the areas, finding one large bag and one small bag, each containing a substance consistent with heroin, according the complaint. According to the PPPD, one ounce of heroin was seized with an estimated street value of $4,000, as well as $399 in cash — the cash was allegedly found on Wasonga’s person, along with other evidence not detailed in the complaint.
Wasonga appeared before Mason County Magistrate Cheryl Miller Ross, who set his bond at $75,000. As of Monday evening, Wasonga was no longer listed as being housed in the Western Regional Jail. As of Monday afternoon, his preliminary hearing had not yet been set.
The two passengers in the vehicle were not listed as being charged, according to the complaint.
Heroin, according to law enforcement and drug recovery experts, is becoming the local “high” of choice by many addicts due to its cost. Heroin is significantly cheaper than pain pills. According to personnel at Prestera, a local mental health care agency that specializes in addiction recovery, oxycodone sells for about $1 per milligram, a 20-milligram tablet (costing $20) keeps withdrawal symptoms and cravings down for about four hours. The daily habit for a person in this situation ranges from $100 to $160 a day. In contrast, a $25 supply of heroin will last an entire day or longer.
Last week, there were three drug overdose deaths reported in Mason County.