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Rodriguez pleads guilty in court to fraud

By Staff | Aug 27, 2014

Brandon L. Rodriguez, 26, of New Martinsville, pleaded guilty in Tyler County Circuit Court Thursday to the felony offense of obtaining money under false pretenses.

The offense was to have occurred on May 21, 2013, when he allegedly accepted money for materials and labor to install a metal roof and never returned. He was indicted on the charge by the October 2013 term of the Tyler County grand jury.

Defense Attorney John Gainer told the court his client has now repaid $2,200 of the $2,918.84 owed to the victim.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the charge and Judge Mark A. Karl asked Rodriguez to tell the court, in his own words, what he had done to make him guilty of the crime.

Rodriguez said he went to the home of victim and they went to the bank together to get the money. She gave him the money and he never returned.

Prosecutor Luke Furbee said if the case were to proceed to trial he would present that the victim had filed a complaint that Rodriguez had contracted with her to perform work and never returned after receiving the money.

Furbee said video of the transaction taken place at the bank shows him receiving the money.

Karl, after being satisfied Rodriguez understood the charges and penalties related to the crime, sentenced Rodriguez to one year in the North Central Regional Jail. However, he suspended the sentence and placed him on one year supervised probation. He was also ordered to make restitution for the remaining amount of $718.84 and to pay the cost of his prosecution including court appointed attorney fees. He was ordered to report to Chief Probation Officer John Lantz by Aug. 25.

In another matter, Ryen M. Archer, 22, of Dodd Street, Middlebourne, appeared in court for a deferred formal arraignment. Archer, alongside his attorney Matthew Graves, entered a plea of innocent to 13 felony counts of drug related activity. He was indicted on the charges by the June term of the Tyler County grand jury.

He was charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against the state, operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory, 10 counts of manufacturing a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and possession of precursor with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

All the charges are alleged to have occurred between October 2012 and September 2013.

His attorney told the court discovery had been filed and he still needs to comply with the state’s request for discovery. He asked for more time to go over the case with his client. Judge Mark A. Karl passed the case until Sept. 4.

Archer was allowed to continue on bond and was told to stay in contact with his attorney and return to court on Sept. 4.