Police in Virginia have reported that four individuals have been taken into custody on drug possession charges after a routine call about shoplifting led to the seizure of large amounts of cocaine, amphetamine and currency. Reports indicate that the three men and woman were charged with multiple counts of possessing and transporting drugs and transported to detention facilities where they were held without bond.
In 2016, law enforcement agencies around the country arrested three times as many people for drug violations than for all violent crimes put together. The 1.57 million drug arrests represent a 5.63 percent increase over 2015 figures and cast doubt on predictions that the drug war may be coming to an end. Law and order advocates in Virginia and elsewhere claim that a tough stance on drugs is needed to keep the public safe, but more than eight out of 10 of those charged with narcotics offenses in 2016 were arrested simply for possessing an illegal substance.
On Sept. 29, a Virginia man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of selling drugs on the side while reportedly helping the authorities. The 44-year-old man had been previously convicted possession of meth with intent to distribute and other charges before earning goodwill with the authorities by helping to set up controlled purchases.
After a year of investigations, the Lee County Sheriff's Department produced 48 indictments and search warrants for crimes that mostly involved selling methamphetamine. The sheriff said that the drug had become prevalent in the area because of regulations on opioids. He explained that drug dealers were switching to methamphetamine because people could make the substance with household ingredients. This aspect made it impossible to cut off the drug supply.
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.
Being convicted of criminal offenses related to dealing and selling drugs in Virginia and the rest of the country can result in stiff penalties. Drug sales and drug dealing charges pertain to the sale of illegal controlled substances, such as heroin, marijuana, meth or cocaine. The scope of these charges is less than that of drug trafficking, which pertains to any aspect of the creation, movement and selling of the drugs.
A 31-year-old man ended up in Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail after Williamsburg Police encountered him during a domestic dispute call. Police reported that they entered a home on the 4000 block of Battery Boulevard. While interviewing the man and the woman at the location, law enforcement found a suitcase containing drugs and cash. After obtaining a warrant to search the woman, police reported finding a small amount of marijuana in her possession, and they arrested her as well.
A 43-year-old Virginia man was sentenced to more than two decades in prison on Aug. 24 for distributing heroin and cocaine in the Richmond area. The Henrico resident had pleaded guilty to a raft of drug possession, distribution and firearms charges on May 23. The man was also ordered to forfeit a handgun and pay financial restitution of $1.05 million. Reports indicate that this figure was based on the estimated proceeds of the man's drug trafficking and distribution activities.
An early evening call to police in Petersburg resulted in the arrest of two men. Officers on the scene reported that a crowd had gathered on the 600 block of Cottonwood Drive and that they saw firearms being discharged into the air. As officers advanced on the crowd, three men attempted to flee the scene. Police succeeded in arresting two of them, both 27, and the third man got away after dropping his gun.
On Aug. 22, it was reported that a federal grand jury in Virginia indicted seven people thought to be involved in a drug conspiracy case. According to the indictment, each person was charged with conspiracy to posses 50 or more grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.