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Leesburg Criminal Law Blog

Virginia couple found with $440,000 in meth

A couple in Virginia was detained by police in January 2020 on suspicion of drug possession. Virginia State Police took the couple into custody in Albemarle County, and they were booked into Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail.

The police were in the process of executing a search warrant when they detained the couple. A 23-year-old man was charged with possession of a firearm by a non-violent felon, possession of a firearm with the possession of Schedule I or II drugs and possession with the intention to distribute more than 100 grams of meth. A 34-year-old woman was charged with possession of a firearm with the possession of a Schedule II drug and possession with the intention to distribute more than 100 grams of meth.

An overview of a person's Miranda rights

Those who are charged with a crime in Virginia and throughout the country must be read their rights before being taken into custody. Individuals have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney and the right to know that anything that they say or do can be used against them in court. These are generally referred to as Miranda rights, and they were the result of a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Miranda v. Arizona.

In that case, a man confessed to a crime after being interrogated by police for several hours. After confessing, he signed a document acknowledging that he knew his rights at the time the confession was made. The Supreme Court ruled that the defendant was coerced into confessing and that he never gave up his rights voluntarily. Miranda rights are rooted in the Fifth Amendment, which prevents a person from saying or doing anything that may incriminate that individual.

Your defense options after a shoplifting accusation

Shoplifting may seem like a petty crime, but it can lead to serious consequences and affect the way that you can live your life. If you have been accused of shoplifting in Virginia, you should, therefore, take these accusations seriously. By conducting thorough research to understand the law in regard to theft, you will be in a better position to effectively defend yourself from the accusations.

The following are some of the most common defenses used in response to a shoplifting accusation. While the defense strategy that you will use will depend on the exact circumstances surrounding your situation, it is a good idea to have an overview of some of the options available to you.

Two men charged for cross-country drug scheme

Two men were accused of distributing fentanyl in Virginia and other parts of the country. According to federal prosecutors, the two accused men were in possession of hundreds of grams of fentanyl. Authorities also discovered a semi-automatic weapon, a shotgun and a digital scale in a storage unit as well as another firearm in one man's home.

The accused men are both being held without bond at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail while they await a federal court appointment that's scheduled for March 10. Federal authorities say that the first man distributed fentanyl to the second man in April 2019. The first man was also accused of using UPS to mail one kilogram of fentanyl to Florida from California.

2 men face fentanyl distribution charges

Two men have been arrested in Virginia, accused of distributing and possessing fentanyl. The men, held in the Western Tidewater Regional Jail, are accused of distributing hundreds of grams of the powerful opiate. According to police, one of the men provided the other man with fentanyl in April 2019, while participating in an attempt to ship a kilogram of the substance commercially via UPS from California to Florida. They then say the other man sold relatively large quantities of fentanyl on several occasions in July.

Police say that they arrested that man on Aug. 1 and that he had 773 grams of fentanyl at the time. During a search of the man's home, police also say that they discovered several firearms, and he is facing gun charges as well as drug charges. They say that they found two 9mm handguns, a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle. They also say that they found a digital scale, which they characterized as drug paraphernalia.

Do you know your rights when stopped by the cops?

Far too few people know and exercise their rights when they encounter police. They often surrender information or access that can lead to an arrest and criminal conviction.

Don't fall into that easily avoidable trap. Below are some things to do and not to do when the police stop you or show up at your door.

Snapchat video alerts police to drug dealers serving teens

Many Virginia parents understand the importance of monitoring their teens' social media use. One case illustrates how a vigilant one alerted law enforcement to a suspect selling marijuana, LSD, THC, mushrooms and other controlled substances to teens. The parent saw a Snapchat video about an individual advertising the drugs, and the subsequent investigation involved multiple agencies and has so far led to the arrest of two suspects.

Police created undercover social media profiles to collect information about the drug selling and eventually located the home where teens were buying drugs. After receiving court approval for surveillance, investigators tracked the alleged drug dealer throughout the region. A representative of the sheriff's office said that the agency obtained a search warrant for the home of the 25-year-old suspect.

Driver extradited to U.S. over fatal car crash

A Salvadoran woman has been extradited to Virginia to face charges in the death of another woman killed in a car accident in Henrico County in 2018. The 59-year-old woman was doing yard work on North Parham Road in August 2018 when she was struck by a car driven by the woman. While the accident victim was taken to the hospital, she passed away due to injuries in the crash two weeks later. The driver left the country after the accident, but her case was referred to Interpol. She was found in Spain in October, and the U.S. sought her extradition for involuntary manslaughter and failure to appear.

The driver was brought back to Dulles airport on Dec. 16, 2019 and served with the outstanding warrants. She was initially ticketed after the crash for driving without a license and reckless driving, and police say that they believe she left the country in order to prevent prosecution in the case. They became aware that she had left the United States in October 2018, when she did not appear in court on the reckless driving charges. However, prosecutors also said that she did not contest the extradition request. The driver allegedly ran off the road and hit the woman as she was working in her yard.

Reform advocates warn against harsher drug sentences

In Virginia and across the country, many people have urged changes to the criminal justice system to reduce the number of people incarcerated. In particular, drug offenses have led to long-term imprisonment and felony criminal records for many people who face serious obstacles in reintegrating into society. Despite the growing movement for cannabis legalization and the reduction of drug possession sentences, some are still advocating for higher sentences for people convicted of drug dealing and distribution.

The opioid crisis, in particular, has led to calls for stronger crackdowns on drug dealers allegedly involved in distributing fentanyl-like substances or opioid analogs. Due to the potency of these substances, people who use them may be more likely to overdose. These substances are often used to cut heroin or other opioids, and end users, and even dealers, may be unaware that the drugs they are using or selling have been mixed with other substances. Some members of Congress are pushing to make an emergency Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) order classifying fentanyl analogs as Schedule 1 drugs into a permanent placement. The National Association of Attorneys General has also expressed support for the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act.

Virginia murder cold case heats up as man pleads guilty

A 44-year-old man has entered guilty pleas in Virginia Beach Circuit Court on charges that he participated in the killing of a mother and son in 2004. No suspects had been arrested in the case until 2018 when investigators had a breakthrough that led them to the murder suspect out of state. His arrest then enabled authorities to arrest the husband of the female victim.

His guilty plea on charges that included capital murder, first-degree murder and arson confirmed his involvement in the attack and house fire that killed a woman and her 7-year-old son. The events in 2004 took place on Newcombe Road in Virginia Beach. When police responded to the scene, they encountered the female victim's brother suffering from a gunshot wound outside the burning house. The injuries sustained by the woman and boy inside the house later killed them.

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