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Officer discovers crack at home confinement residence

Sep. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A home confinement officer's routine, early morning patrol revealed a discovery that sent murder defendant Quazza Stephan Farrow back to jail.

The officer found crack cocaine upon searching Farrow's residence, after growing suspicious when he spotted the Maryland native sitting on his front porch at 3:30 a.m. Thursday in the 1600 block of Charleston Avenue.

The 21-year-old was on home confinement in lieu of bond as he awaits trial in the July 5, 2012, shooting death of Mikeal Branch. The shooting happened about 2 a.m. outside of the victim's house in the 1200 block of 18th Street in Huntington.Thursday's search revealed approximately 8 grams of suspected crack cocaine, according to court records and Sam Stowasser, director of Cabell County Home Confinement. The substance was individually packaged in five bags, typically a trademark of a dealer's intent to distribute a supply.

That alleged violation meant a nearly immediate return to the Western Regional Jail, where booking records show Farrow was incarcerated at 4:40 a.m. Thursday. The Cabell County Sheriff's Office later charged him with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Magistrate Mike Woelfel set bond at $50,000, however any release would be prohibited until Farrow appears before Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson on the home confinement violation.

Regardless if the crack cocaine belonged to Farrow, Stowasser said those on home confinement cannot have any contact with the drug, reside in a place where it is stored or associate with those who use it.

Stowasser credited Thursday's arrest to an alert officer, who the director said randomly passed Farrow's residence on routine patrol and followed up on his suspicions.

Ferguson had granted Farrow's release to home confinement May 13 in lieu of bond. He had been previously incarcerated since Aug. 11, 2012.

The murder case is set for trial Oct. 1. That was the date agreed to in July, after the prosecution and defense sought more time as each reported progress in preparation.

Investigators believe the July 5, 2012, shooting stemmed from a disagreement. It led to Farrow firing one gunshot that killed the victim, according to court documents.

Authorities searched approximately a month before tracking Farrow to a relative's house in Fort Wayne, Ind. They believe he sought refuge in Ashland and Atlanta before making his way to northern Indiana.

Investigators have indicated both men are from out of state. They have described Farrow as a Maryland native who had been in the local area for a while. Branch was a Florida native who moved to the Tri-State some time before his death.

A representative for defense attorney Mike Bailey indicated his office was aware of Thursday's arrest, however Bailey was unavailable for immediate comment.

Follow Curtis Johnson at Facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD and via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD.

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