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Fayette deputies arrest man on pill possession charges

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Beckley man who may behind a string of pharmacy robberies was arrested in Fayette County after deputies said they found him trying to eat numerous pills during a traffic stop Saturday.

Fayette County Deputy N.D. Hall pulled over Mark Anthony Gilliam, 38, of Beckley, who was driving a damaged blue Geo Tracker on Saturday morning.

As soon as Hall pulled Gilliam over, he noticed Gilliam trying to eat several of the pills in his vehicle.

Hall found numerous bottles of prescription medication in the vehicle as well as tools consistent with those that can be used for breaking and entering. The search resulted in the recovery of nearly 2,000 prescription drugs including Oxycodone, methadone, Xanax and Diazapam, estimated to have a street value of approximately $16,500.

Police said Gilliam told them he had broken into various pharmacies in Raleigh County. According to the criminal complaint filed in Fayette County Magistrate Court, Gilliam said he broke into the Crab Orchard Pharmacy Jan. 6, and to breaking into Eppy's Drug Store and Colony Drug Store in Beckley Jan. 11.

Sheriff Steve Kessler forwarded this information to the Raleigh County Sheriff's Department because the pharmacies are located in Raleigh and also to the Beckley Police Department.

Gilliam was arraigned in  a Fayette magistrate court and remanded to the Southern Regional Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond. He is charged with four counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Kessler pointed out that Gilliam, who lives in Raleigh County, was driving in Fayette on a suspended license in a vehicle registered to another person in Wyoming County. "This is yet another example of how widespread the prescription drug problem is in Southern West Virginia," Kessler said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Fayette County Sheriff's Department at 304-574-4216.

To contact staff writer Susan Williams, use email or call 304-348-5112


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