POCAHONTAS — A funeral director who also serves as a minister confessed to being a meth dealer and user following his weekend arrest, according to sheriff's deputies.
Jonathan Fears, 50, of Pocahontas, was cornered by a deputy Sunday morning at the Eleven Points River Access. This comes after two men were arrested for drug possession hours earlier.
Randolph County Sheriff Kevin Bell believes two Saturday traffic stops uncovering illegal drugs are connected, he said Tuesday.
Fears and David Liebhaber, 52, of Biggers, were loading a boat onto a truck when a deputy approached them.
The first stop lead to Fears and Liebhaber, he said.
After a conversation about fishing, Fears consented to a search of his boat and brown 2014 GMC Sierra and surrendered his revolver to the sheriff’s office, an affidavit read.
When the deputy worked his way to the passenger side of the boat, Liebhaber told Fears to stop the search, but he didn’t.
Seized from the boat was a .45-caliber pistol and ammunition, 89.48 grams of meth, loaded and empty syringes, a glass pipe used to smoke meth, cotton swabs and two butane torches, records show. A full pill bottle was found 10 yards from the boat.
Late Saturday night, a sheriff’s deputy stopped Michael Jones, 38, of Evening Shade, due to fictitious tags, reports indicate. He also noticed an injured puppy in the vehicle.
Because Jones is a parolee with a waiver on file, his red 1994 BMW 318i was searched. The driver noted that a marijuana joint may have been in his tackle box, but “nothing serious,” an affidavit read.
When the deputy found a grocery bag containing two syringes and a “tobacco-like substance,” Jones fled on foot and a scuffle ensued. An onlooker assisted the deputy and he was detained.
Jones’ passenger, Jeremy Blackwell, 41, of Imboden, was also arrested, according to the incident report. Also seized from the vehicle were $6,700 in cash, a bag of K2 or synthetic marijuana, five hydrocodone pills, 117 grams of meth, 2 grams of marijuana, loaded and empty syringes and two LEGO-shaped pills deputies couldn’t identify.
Jones later told deputies that he sold drugs.
District Court Judge Alex Bigger found probable cause Monday to charge Jones with possession of meth greater than 10 grams with the purpose to deliver, possession of meth greater than 10 grams, possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, not meth or cocaine, less than 2 grams, second-degree battery, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana less than 4 ounces, resisting arrest and fleeing.
Bell said Jones is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.
Blackwell received a $50,000 cash or surety bond for possession of meth greater than 10 grams with the purpose to deliver, possession of meth greater than 10 grams, possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, not meth or cocaine, less than 2 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana less than 4 ounces.
Fears, funeral director for Fears Funeral Home, told deputies that Jones and Blackwell bought $3,500 of meth from him during his fishing trip. He also confessed to being a meth user, along with Liebhaber.
Bigger found probable cause Monday to charge Fears and Liebhaber with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of meth greater than 10 grams with the purpose to deliver, possession of meth greater than 10 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia.
A $50,000 cash or surety bond was set for Fears and Liebhaber, Bell said.