Two charged with cocaine possession with intent to distribute

Kelly Powell
Willie Bates

FRONT ROYAL — A man and woman from Maryland were arrested Saturday night after a traffic stop led to the discovery of more than 5 grams of cocaine base.

Willie Edward Bates, 46, of Springdale, Maryland, was driving in town when police conducted a traffic stop on his vehicle, the criminal complaint states. Officer J. Lethcoe then conducted a search of the vehicle after he smelled burnt marijuana, he wrote in the criminal complaint. According to the complaint, Lethcoe found “two small baggies of crack cocaine” on the floorboard of the passenger seat, where Kelly Veronica Powell, 52, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, was seated.

The complaint states that Powell admitted that the bags were cocaine, and a search of her person led to the discovery of a large bag that had small, individually wrapped bags of cocaine inside of it. Powell allegedly told police that the large bag belonged to Bates, and, according to the complaint, Bates had over $300 in cash on him at the time of arrest while Powell had $80. The substances were field tested as cocaine base, the complaint states.

Bates and Powell were each charged with two counts of cocaine possession with intent to distribute, and are being held without bond at Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail. Their next hearing is set for April 25 in Warren County General District Court, but their attorneys can set a sooner date on the court’s docket.