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Man charged after allegedly threatening officer, sneaking pot into regional jail

By Staff | Sep 11, 2015

A Shepherdstown man was charged with multiple offenses after police allegedly found him sleeping on the shoulder of Shepherdstown Road near Eagle School Road in Berkeley County.

At 2:15 a.m. Saturday, a trooper with the West Virginia State Police was dispatched to the area for a welfare check. Arriving on scene, the trooper approached the man, who records show was sleeping on the shoulder, and tried to wake him up. After touching the man’s shoulder a few times, the man, who was later identified as James Buford Cressel, of Cedar Lane, awakened and allegedly shouted obscenities at the officer.

Smelling alcohol on the man’s breath, the trooper asked Cressel if he had been drinking, to which police say Cressel answered in the affirmative. After placing Cressel under arrest for public intoxication and disorderly conduct, records show another trooper asked the arresting officer if he had searched Cressel prior to placing him in the cruiser.

Cressel allegedly told police that he had a knife on him. After taking the knife out of Cressel’s waistband, police say the trooper transported him to the Eastern Regional Jail. At the jail, Cressel reportedly threatened the trooper multiple times.

“You better watch your back! Your family better watch your back! I know people that will take you out!” a criminal complaint states Cressel said.

While being processed, Cressel allegedly refused to be fingerprinted. Correctional officers, records show, later found eight grams of marijuana in Cressel’s pocket. As the trooper was leaving the jail, police say Cressel “pointed his hand to his head, his hand acting as a gun. … pulling back his thumb, indicating Mr. Cressel that his hand was a weapon.”

Cressel was charged Saturday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court with one felony count of transporting a controlled substance into the Eastern Regional Jail, one misdemeanor count of public intoxication, one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct, one misdemeanor count of obstruction, one misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon, one misdemeanor count of assault of an officer, one misdemeanor count refusal to be fingerprinted and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.

If convicted, Cressel could face between two and 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines for the felony offense and up to 38 months in jail and $3,100 in fines for the misdemeanor charges.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Cressel was free on a $11,700 bond.