A Virginia woman pleaded guilty to racketeering in Waynesboro Circuit Court on Oct. 1 for distributing 12 pounds or more of methamphetamine. The 28-year-old woman could face a prison sentence of up to 40 years, with a minimum of 5 years behind bars after her plea. A presentence report was ordered for the following week while a sentencing hearing was set for Feb. 6, 2019. During the sentencing hearing, which will take several hours, witnesses for both the prosecution and defense will present testimony related to the woman's potential prison term.
While the public perception of marijuana evolves in Virginia and nationwide, law enforcement continues to target people for marijuana possession. The political director for NORML said that 20 percent of the nation's population lives in places that have legalized the drug's recreational use. He criticized the increase in marijuana arrests as a "cruel prohibition that ruins lives". He said that the actions of law enforcement defied public attitudes and basic morality.
On Aug. 31, Virginia authorities arrested a man and a woman for allegedly possessing illegal drugs and alcohol. The defendants were taken into custody in Floyd County.
Virginia law enforcement authorities investigating illicit methamphetamine production in the state have reported that a 36-year-old man has been charged with methamphetamine possession and trafficking. The charges were filed after a substance seized during a search of the man's Dugspur residence was identified as more than 225 grams of methamphetamine by a Roanoke crime laboratory.
In Virginia and across the nation, the criminal justice system is stacked against defendants who are convicted of drug possession offenses. The outcomes of felony drug convictions are often more severe than just prison sentences, fines and supervised release; there is also a socioeconomic stigma that interferes with future job opportunities as well as obtaining educational and healthcare benefits.
Two men and a woman are facing drug charges after an officer was sent to Black Diamond Market in Lee County, Virginia. The officer approached an ATV and smelled marijuana, which prompted a search of the vehicle. According to the officer, the search turned up 27 grams of methamphetamine, and one of the men ate methamphetamine hoping to destroy evidence. The search also yielded two handguns, marijuana and some scales.
Throughout central Virginia, law enforcement has escalated drug raids and arrests. This has led the number of drug and narcotic offenses to rise 42 percent between 2016 and 2017. An annual Virginia State Police report on crime statistics showed that drug arrests in the region have escalated far more rapidly than the statewide upswing of 16 percent. This reported increase in drug crimes has accompanied the opioid epidemic that has grown across the country.
A 29-year-old Virginia man is facing a raft of charges after methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $90,000 was allegedly found in his home. Reports indicate that deputies from the Henry County Sheriff's Office discovered the drugs during a June 1 search of a residence on Melrose Drive in Bassett. An HCSO representative said that the evidence needed to obtain the search warrant was gathered while deputies were investigating methamphetamine distribution in the area.
Three Virginia men were charged with drug crimes after police responded to a disorderly conduct call in Lynchburg on May 20. The incident occurred on the 1000 block of Floyd Street.
Actress Rose McGowan faces the prospect of a criminal indictment for felony cocaine possession after a judge in Virginia ruled that the facts in the case warranted consideration by a grand jury. The ruling was handed down following a May 3 hearing. The ruling was another setback for McGowan's attorneys who tried unsuccessfully in March to have the case dismissed. The actress was charged in January after an airline employee discovered her driver's license in a wallet that also contained a package of cocaine while cleaning an aircraft.