Halting traffic lands one motorist in jail

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

SOUTH POINT — A traffic stop — literally — Saturday evening has resulted in the arrest of a local man on an assortment of drug and vehicle violations and the confiscation of more than 11 grams of cocaine.

Wilson Erihim, 24, who lists addresses in both Huntington, W.Va. and at 98 Township Road 1343, South Point, was charged with operating a motor vehicle without control (formerly known as driving under the influence), failure to wear a seat belt, parking his vehicle in a roadway and possession of cocaine. He was taken to the Lawrence County Jail.

Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputy Randy Rogers stated in his incident report that he was on patrol in the South Point area when he noticed a vehicle stopped in the center lane in westbound traffic on U.S. 52 near its intersection with County Road 120 just after 7:30 p.m.

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“Traffic was backed up behind the vehicle almost to County Road 144,” Rogers wrote in his report. “… I did observe several near accidents as vehicles behind the subject attempted to merge right and left around the vehicle as traffic was quite heavy. … The traffic light changed a number of times with the vehicle not moving.”

When he approached the blue Monte Carlo, Rogers stated he noticed that the driver appeared to be asleep. Rogers allegedly awakened Erihim, who produced an Ohio driver’s license and then allegedly went back to sleep.

While Chesapeake Police officer Richard Slack directed traffic, Rogers and the office’s K-9 unit conducted a sweep of the vehicle and located a plastic bag with a white powder substance and a large plastic bag that contained traces of what appeared to be marijuana. The white substance was allegedly tested and determined to be cocaine.