PRINCETON, W.Va.(WVVA)- An investigation into a gas station robbery helped the Princeton Police Department wage their war on drugs.
In twelve hours, police made four arrests while taking 55 grams of Methamphetamine and two firearms off the streets.
On Tuesday evening, Princeton Police responded to a robbery call at the BP Gas Station on Stafford Drive.
"We ended up identifying the suspect, not by name, but the clothing he was wearing and by his facial profile," said Detective S. Severt.
Police later identified the suspect as Ryan Moore.
Police say Moore walked into the BP station carrying bags and food, reportedly stealing $60 from the cash register. Police believe Moore didn't present a weapon during the robbery, but was wearing a black-type ski mask over his face.
While trying to locate Moore, police were called to a separate incident at a local bank on Stafford Street.
"While there, I made contact with a suspect who ended up resisting arrest," said Patrolman J.E. Carroll. "It led me to finding over 10 grams of Meth on that subject. A package separately with an additional gram of cocaine and some other controlled substances that he was charged with, and a firearm. He was a convicted felon for a drug charge so that's a felony possession of a firearm. That's a total of seven felonies on him."
Police have identified that suspect as Kevin Brinkley and he was taken into custody.
Police resumed their search for Moore. Detectives soon determined the suspect was homeless and might use the BP cash for a motel room. Police began searching local motels and came across something Brinkley describes as "suspicious."
"There was some individuals sitting outside in the car," said Brinkley. "They led us to room 102. When we knocked on the door to see who was in Room 102, they answered and you could see from the doorway several drug paraphernalia items in the room, in plain view. That led us into the room, locating 45 grams of Meth and a handgun, with two suspects."
Police have identified those suspects as David Crockett and Tina Mullins.
Shortly after, police received another call about a disturbance on Kee Street. While responding to that incident, Detective Severt located Moore, the BP robbery suspect, inside of the residence.
The string of arrests led police to take drugs off the streets, all while pursuing a robbery suspect.
"[The drug epidemic is] a really big problem anywhere in Southern West Virginia," Brinkley said. "We're always working hard to [put a stop to it].
"It makes me nervous to know people are in the community doing [these crimes]," said Fannie Trigg, Princeton resident.
Princeton Police Chief Tim Gray says his department works collectively to protect all residents, which includes working with "The Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force."
"I can't say enough about the job they do and the job my guys do in this department," Gray said.
The chief has a strong message for anyone in the community participating in drug activities in their backyard.
"You might get by for a little while but eventually, we'll [find you]," said Gray. "And eventually, you'll be in the court system."
All four suspects were arraigned and are being held at Southern Regional Jail.