Seventeen People Arrested For Various Drug Crimes In Virginia
Several law enforcement agencies in Virginia collaborated to arrest 17 people for various drug crimes, according to an article by WJHL.
This operation was the result of a collaboration between the Virginia State Police, the 29th Judicial Drug Task Force, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, and the Grundy Police Department. After their respective arrests, all 17 of the suspected offenders went to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail. Further proceedings are expected in this matter.
The most common charges in this matter were maintaining a common nuisance and distributing a controlled substance. Correspondingly, it seems appropriate to review the Virginia statutes that govern both of these offenses.
Maintaining a Common Nuisance
As detailed in Code of Virginia Section 18.2-258, it is unlawful to maintain any residential or commercial property to further various drug crimes. This section applies to buildings of any kind, including, but not limited to, apartments, offices, and restaurants.
More specifically, Section 18.2-258 prohibits the owner or operator of these properties from knowingly enabling:
- Possession or use of controlled substances;
- Distribution of controlled substances; or
- Manufacture of controlled substances.
Any property in violation of Section 18.2-258 is deemed a common nuisance. The Virginia penalties for maintaining a common nuisance are as follows:
- First Offense — Class 1 misdemeanor charges and a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines; or
- Second or Subsequent Offense — Class 6 felony charges and a potential sentence of 12 months to five years in prison and up to $2,500 in criminal fines.
Distributing a Controlled Substance
As outlined in Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248, the distribution, sale, manufacture, or gift of any controlled substance is unlawful, outside of several recognized exceptions. It is also illegal to possess any controlled substance with the intent to distribute, sell, manufacture, or gift. Under this section, it does not matter if the distribution crime is successful. Possession with intent is punishable in the same way.
Any person who violates Section 18.2-248 with respect to a:
- Schedule I/II Controlled Substance — Will face felony charges and a potential sentence of five to 40 years in prison and up to $500,000 in criminal fines;
- Schedule III Controlled Substance — Will face Class 5 felony charges and a potential sentence of five to 40 years in prison and up to $500,000 in criminal fines;
- Schedule IV Controlled Substance — Will face Class 6 felony charges and a substantially similar sentence to the one described above; or
- Schedule V/VI Controlled Substance — Will face Class 1 misdemeanor charges and a substantially similar sentence to the one described above.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about drug crimes under Virginia law, the Leesburg drug crimes attorneys at Simms Showers are prepared to assist you. Reach out to us today for a consultation.