On May 23, it was reported that a Virginia man who pleaded guilty to six drug-related felonies was sentenced to 39 years in prison with 33 years and seven months suspended. The Ringgold man, age 42, was taken into custody and charged following a narcotics investigation and a search of his home.
The court papers noted that, when authorities arrived to search the home, located on Carefree Lane in Ringgold, they found that the doors had been heavily fortified. Authorities said that, under Virginia law, a house was considered fortified if it was altered in a way to delay lawful entry inside. When the authorities did gain access, they reportedly recovered two loaded firearms inside the home and a loaded firearm in a vehicle sitting outside the home. Additional ammunition was also found. Further, four surveillance cameras were also seized as it was alleged that they used them to monitor transactions and traffic.
The man ultimately pleaded to maintaining a fortified home, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine and possessing a firearm by a felon, in addition to others. He was denied bond as there was evidence that he had eluded the authorities in the past.
Those who are accused of drug crimes in Virginia face serious consequences as the state takes drug-related accusations seriously. Depending on the circumstances, however, there may be a defense strategy that could be used to reduce the consequences or cause the case to be dismissed altogether. A criminal law attorney could review the case and the evidence to determine what defense strategy may work in an effort to seek the most positive outcome possible.
Source: Chatham Star Tribune, "Brown gets 39 years in fortified drug house case", Susan Light, May 31, 2017