Concealed weapon, drug trafficking charges dropped

LISBON – Charges of carrying a concealed weapon, having a weapon while under disability and two counts of trafficking in drugs against Darmarlon M. Wise, were dismissed this week on a motion by the prosecutor’s office.

Wise, 25, West Fourth Street, East Liverpool, was charged by Wellsville police after a handgun was found in a pat-down search near Joe’s Bar on Nov. 17, 2012. Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Washam ruled last month that the evidence from the search had to be thrown out because there was no reason for suspicion by the police officer.

Court documents this week ordered the Wellsville police department to dispose of the evidence – a Colt 38 Special, three bullets for the gun, a digital scale, a belt, keys, three cigars and a black bag, all items which were seized as evidence in the case.

After Wellsville Patrolman Luke Skidmore reportedly began patting Wise down and found what felt like a gun under his clothes, Wise reportedly ran and had to be chased by police. After they caught him, the next search revealed four baggies of marijuana with a total weight of 5.5 grams and three bags of cocaine with a total weight of 15.1 grams.

The area around Joe’s Bar was considered a high-crime area at the time, with drugs, weapons and assaults requiring numerous calls to police. Additionally, police had received an anonymous call from a woman claiming her friend saw a man with a gun standing outside the bar that night.

When Skidmore arrived he reportedly found Wise on steps outside the bar and he matched the description given. However, Washam had noted in his previous ruling Skidmore had not seen Wise act in a criminal manner and could not vouch for the credibility of an anonymous informant, there was no reasonable articulable suspicion.

A resisting arrest charge against Wise, also from the same incident, was dismissed earlier this month in Columbiana County Municipal Court.