A 39-year-old Virginia man is facing a raft of drug and firearms charges after being taken into custody by police outside a Washington County high school on the morning of Sept. 20. A school administrator called police at about 7:45 a.m. after a teacher on early bus duty discovered an unresponsive man sitting in a parked car. The man has been charged with possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana on school property, possessing a concealed handgun on school property and while possessing drugs.
Responding police officers say that the man seemed disoriented when he stepped out of his Pontiac Sunfire sedan, and they claim that they conducted a search after noticing a bag of what appeared to be marijuana inside the vehicle. The search is said to have yielded about 12 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, a loaded .38 caliber revolver, a crossbow and several items commonly used to distribute and consume drugs.
Media reports indicate that the man was transported to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail after being processed by the Washington County Sheriff's Office where he was held without bail. Police say that they have found no connection between the man and the school and are viewing security footage to find out if he had any interaction with students before being taken into custody.
The penalties for possessing and distributing drugs can be severe, and the sanctions are even harsher when this activity takes place within 1,000 yards of a school. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to mitigate these penalties by settling cases involving drug sale charges quickly when prosecutors possess convincing evidence, but they could also advocate vigorously in court on behalf of their clients when police officers may have strayed beyond limits established by the U.S. Constitution.
Source: The Bristol Herald Courier, "Man arrested after drugs, weapons found on school property" , Robert Sorrell, Sept. 20, 2017