2 Arrested for Role in Crack Cocaine Trafficking in Hancock County


 Police have arrested two Chester, West Virginia residents after an investigation involving crack cocaine trafficking.

Francis Lewis, 35, and Jamie Payton, 32, both of Chester, were arrested and face a multitude of charges relating to illicit drug activity.

The Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug Task Force, with the assistance of the Hancock County Sheriff’s and the Chester Police Department, executed a search warrant, as well as arrest warrants, at a home on Louisiana Avenue in Chester.

The task force seized drug abuse instruments within the residence and police say two children were removed from the home which was reported to be in deplorable condition. 

Lewis and Payton have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to deliver cocaine, one count of conspiracy to transport cocaine across state lines, and two counts of child neglect creating substantial risk of death or serious injury. 

Lewis, who is currently on probation for a prior drug related offense, was also charged with one count of delivery of cocaine within 1000 feet of a school.

“The child neglect charges stem from allegations Lewis and Payton brought Ms. Payton’s two children with them to East Liverpool, OH to purchase and transport illegal narcotics,” said Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher.

Lewis and Payton were both arraigned in Hancock County Magistrate Court Monday. 

Lewis’s bond was set at $125,000, while Payton’s was set at $100,000.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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