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2 Washington County residents jailed on drug-trafficking charges

Drugs seized by authorities
Drugs seized by authorities(none)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 7:07 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2020 at 9:59 AM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Two Washington County residents are behind bars after authorities find over 176 grams of Fentanyl in their car during a traffic stop.

According to a news release, members of the Washington Morgan Noble and Monroe Major Crimes Task Force were patrolling Interestate 77 Tuesday when a vehicle driven by 29 year-old Eric Neff, of Lower Salem, made a suspicious movement. Agents followed Neff, who made several dangerous moves as officers followed.

They then pulled Neff over. In his passenger seat was 21 year-old Velinda Berga, of Marietta.

Neff told officers he was on his way back from a child visitation in Columbus, a city he had previously lived in. He told agents that he understood why he had been pulled over.

During the traffic stop, a K9 sniffed around the vehicle and indicated positively.

Authorities searched the car, where they say they found a small round container with gray granular powder and baggies of white powder. The white powder tested positive for Fentanyl in a field test and Neff and Berga were arrested.

As Neff and Berga were being placed under arrest, Berga told authorities she had a needle stuffed down the front of her pants. Officers allowed her to remove it before taking her and Neff to the Washington County Jail.

Agents seized 176.28 grams of Fentanyl along with cash and cell phones during the investigation.

Neff and Berga are each charged with trafficking in drugs, a first degree felony.

They have both appeared in Marietta Municipal Court where Neff was placed under a $75,000 bond and Berga was placed under a $100,000 bond.

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