2 arrested in Belpre on drug charges

Two area residents were arrested on charges that included possession of crack cocaine early Saturday morning.

According to a report from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the county major crimes task force and Belpre Police arrested Kenneth A. Stephens, 25, of 370 Tenth St., Parkersburg, and Keri Ann LaFatch, 34, of 705 Elm St., Belpre around 2:15 a.m. Saturday at LaFatch’s residence.

The arrest came after an undercover operative purchased five grams of crack cocaine at the Elm Street address. In addition, two 17-year-olds witnessed the drug transaction.

A search warrant was executed at the residence and officers recovered the “buy money” used in the undercover purchase. Also found during the search were numerous pills and a crack pipe that tested positive for both crack cocaine and a small amount of marijuana.

Stephens was arrested for trafficking in crack cocaine in an amount greater than five grams in the presence of a juvenile. He’s also been arrested previously for felony theft and domestic battery and violence, according to the sheriff’s report.

LaFatch was arrested for possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. She is also being held on an outstanding warrant from Athens County for possession of cocaine. LaFatch also has been previously arrested for possession of a controlled substance, theft, writing bad checks, fleeing and eluding a police officer, and contempt of court.

Stephens and LaFatch are both being held in the Washington County Jail in lieu of bond, pending an appearance in Marietta Municipal Court today.

The Washington County Major Crimes Task Force includes officers from the Marietta and Belpre police departments, as well as prosecutors and deputies from Washington and Morgan counties.