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Frederick County: Early morning carjacking/pursuit suspects apprehended



Two Subjects are now in custody after carjacking a female motorist, fleeing from police in her stolen vehicle and attempting to evade capture on foot after crashing the victim’s car in a wooded  area.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call at 3:40am from a female stating that her car had just been stolen by two men with a gun.

Briannon Sutphin of Stephens City advised that a black male with a pistol and another male subject forced her out of her 2006 Nissan Maxima at the end of the off-ramp of Route 37 north at Valley Pike. Ms. Sutphin advised the two males had exited another vehicle at the end of the ramp and left it there after fleeing north in her car. A short time later, Deputy J.T. Fauver encountered the stolen Nissan and attempted to stop it in the area of 37 and Route 50. After refusing to stop, a pursuit was initiated where maximum speeds reached 118 mph with items being thrown out.

Deputy D.L. Cullers was stationary near the Route 37 / I-81 interchange in Kernstown and successfully deployed spike strips on the Nissan. The pursuit continued south to the end of Route 37,  headed west on Tasker Road and north onto Hillandale Drive before running out of pavement and into a wooded area where they eventually crashed down a 30-foot embankment and fled on foot.

Members of the Virginia State Police and Winchester Police Department joined Sheriff’s Deputies in setting up a perimeter as Deputy J.W. Suire and his K-9 partner Majlo began tracking the suspects. A helicopter out of Fairfax was requested and responded to the scene to assist in locating these possibly armed and dangerous subjects. Sgt. J.K. Pyles located a subject at the intersection of Valley Pike and Shawnee Drive identified as Isaiah Houston, 24 of Daleville, Virginia and confirmed he was the passenger in the stolen Nissan. With the helicopter circling the area east of the interstate and along Papermill Road, the driver, Desmon Wheeler, 24 of Bellspring,Virginia came walking out of the woods and surrendered to law enforcement without incident.

Desmon Wheeler, 24 of Bellspring Virginia. Photo courtesy of Frederick County Adult Detention Center.


Isaiah Houston, 24 of Daleville Virginia

A firearm was located within the Nissan once the vehicle was recovered. A fanny pack thrown from the Nissan during the pursuit was located and found to also have a firearm inside. The 2003 Honda passenger vehicle abandoned by Wheeler and Houston on the off-ramp was discovered to be reported stolen out of Roanoke and was recovered. After being medically cleared, Wheeler and Houston were transported to the regional adult detention center where they remain at this time. Wheeler and Houston face various charges to include carjacking, felony eluding, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony and possession of stolen property.

(Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Press Release)

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Former Priest sentenced to 8 years in long-standing sexual abuse case



In an important turn of events that highlights the long arm of justice, former priest Scott Asalone has been sentenced to eight years in prison for a sexual abuse crime that occurred almost four decades ago.

The sentencing took place at Loudon County Circuit Court, marking an end to a case that revolved around the sexual abuse of a minor in 1985 by Asalone, who was a priest at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Purcellville, Va. at that time. Asalone, who is now 66, was 29 years old then, and the victim was a 14-year-old child. In addition to the eight-year sentence, Asalone has been mandated to register as a sex offender for life and is prohibited from having any contact with the victim.

Scott A. Asalone, 65, a former priest at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Purcellville, pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a minor. Photo courtesy of Loudoun County Adult Detention Center


Attorney General Jason Miyares called the sentencing a testament to “long, overdue justice” for the victim. “Today’s sentencing brings overdue justice to the brave victim who came forward and told their story. My office will continue to prosecute child offenders aggressively,” Miyares said. He encouraged anyone who has been a victim of clergy abuse to report it to the Virginia State Police or local law enforcement.

Asalone, a Asbury Park, NJ resident, was indicted by a multi-jurisdiction grand jury in March 2020. He was arrested in New Jersey on March 14, 2020, extradited to Virginia, and remained on bond pending trial. On December 12, 2022, Asalone pleaded guilty under the Alford rule in Loudon County Circuit Court to felony carnal knowledge of a minor between 13 and 15 years of age. Asalone was removed from public duties in 1993 and was dismissed from the Order of Capuchin Friars in 2007.

The case was led by Chief Prosecutor Phillip Figura and Assistant Attorney General Alyson Yates of the Office of the Attorney General’s Major Crimes and Emerging Threats Section.

This case reminds us that no individual is above the law, and justice, though sometimes slow, can and will catch up. It stands as a beacon for victims, offering reassurance that their stories matter and that bravery in coming forward can lead to justice.

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Hit-and-Run incident involving pedestrians sparks urgent call for information



The Virginia State Police are reaching out to the public for their assistance in solving a hit-and-run incident that occurred on Saturday, June 3, in Clarke County. This alarming incident took place at a local McDonald’s parking lot, leaving two pedestrians injured. With an ongoing investigation, authorities are urgently appealing for any information that could help identify the driver responsible for this reckless act.

Photographs courtesy of the Virginia State Police



At approximately 10:45 am, Trooper S. Stinnett swiftly responded to a distress call reporting a hit-and-run accident at the intersection of Route 340 (Lord Fairfax Hwy) and Route 50 (John Mosby Hwy). According to eyewitnesses, a maroon or red-colored SUV was backing out of a parking spot when it collided with two pedestrians. Shockingly, the SUV driver fled the scene without rendering aid or providing identification.

Law enforcement authorities have provided a description of the hit-and-run driver, who is believed to be an adult female with blonde or light-colored hair. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a white or light-colored shirt. The vehicle in question is a maroon or red-colored SUV of unknown make and model, possibly exhibiting damage on the driver-side rear.

Fortunately, the pedestrians, a 42-year-old female, and a 2-year-old male, sustained only minor injuries in this terrifying ordeal. Medical professionals promptly attended to them at the scene, ensuring their well-being. Nonetheless, the traumatic experience underscores the urgency of finding the responsible driver to prevent such incidents from occurring again.

To aid in the investigation, Virginia State Police are urging anyone with information related to the incident or the maroon SUV and its driver to come forward. If you witnessed the crash or have details that could assist in identifying the individual responsible, please contact the authorities at 540-662-3313 or dial #77 from your cell phone. Alternatively, you can send an email to Every piece of information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could be vital in solving this case.


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Tragedy strikes Shenandoah County: Motorcycle rider dead, car driver charged with DUI, involuntary manslaughter



In a tragic turn of events, a two-vehicle crash in Shenandoah County resulted in the death of a motorcyclist and left another driver seriously injured. The Virginia State Police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The collision, which occurred on Sunday, May 28, took place around noon on Route 11, also known as Old Valley Pike, just north of Mooreland Gap Road. According to reports, a 2013 Ford Edge, traveling southbound on Route 11, veered across the centerline, resulting in a head-on collision with a 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle traveling in the opposite direction.

The motorcyclist, identified as Bradley L. Painter, 57, of Mount Jackson, VA, was declared dead at the scene, succumbing to injuries sustained in the crash. Authorities confirmed that Painter was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.



The driver of the Ford, 28-year-old Jony Salazar Ortiz from New Market, VA, sustained serious injuries in the crash. Emergency responders transported Ortiz to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for treatment. Police confirmed that he was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident.

In a subsequent development, Ortiz was taken into custody and is facing severe charges related to the crash. Authorities have charged him with one felony count of driving under the influence leading to involuntary manslaughter and one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid operator’s license.

Ortiz is currently being held without bond at RSW Regional Jail.

The Virginia State Police are actively investigating the crash. More information will be released as the investigation continues, and anyone with further information is urged to contact the local authorities. The incident serves as a sobering reminder of the critical importance of responsible driving and the tragic consequences that can result from negligence on the road.

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Joint Task Force Apprehends Child Pornography Suspect in Linden, Virginia



In a successful multi-jurisdictional operation, a Linden man was arrested on May 25th following an extensive child pornography investigation. John P. Farley Jr., 70, of the 900 block of Northern Spy Drive, Linden, was arrested and charged with 16 counts of child pornography-related offenses.



The Warren County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division (CID), upon receiving information from the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) Police, conducted a search warrant at Farley’s residence in March 2023. During this operation, several electronic devices from Farley’s home office were seized and handed over to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Digital Forensics Unit for detailed examination.

Upon scrutiny, it was revealed that out of a total of 68 flagged items, 16 met the strict definitions of child pornography under Virginia state law. These items were carefully assessed by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Hajduk, leading to the formal charges under Virginia Code § 18.2-374.1:1 against Farley.

This collaborative effort showcases the crucial role of cross-jurisdictional operations in combating internet crimes against children. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is a dedicated member of the NOVA/DC Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, an initiative coordinated by the Virginia State Police.

This case underscores the effectiveness of collective efforts across multiple law enforcement bodies, with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office acknowledging the pivotal assistance from the MWAA Police and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

As the fight against child exploitation continues, the public is urged to contribute any relevant information. For any details related to this case or the potential exploitation of minors, please contact Investigator Hajduk at the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at (540) 635-7100 ext. 2223 or via email at

Law enforcement agencies stress the importance of community engagement in identifying and detaining child predators, maintaining that collective vigilance plays a critical role in preserving the safety and welfare of our children.

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Blue Ridge Task Force strikes major blow to local drug trade



A resident of Rappahannock County, Eric L. Butler, 45, has been arrested following a six-month-long investigation led by the Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force.

The Task Force executed a search warrant on Butler’s Brinkley Lane residence on Thursday, May 25. The operation led to the seizure of substantial amounts of illicit drugs, including 100 grams of cocaine, 20 grams of heroin, and 100 grams of marijuana. The drugs seized have an estimated street value of around $18,000.

Law enforcement officers also confiscated $21,792 in currency, a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe, and seven firearms during the raid.

Eric L. Butler


$21,792 in currency, a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe, and seven firearms were confiscated during the raid.


Butler is now facing multiple felony charges related to drug trafficking and illegal firearm possession. Specifically, he has been charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute a schedule I/II drug, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of possession of a firearm while in possession of a schedule I/II drug, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Following his arrest, Butler was transported to the RSW Regional Jail, where he is currently being held on a secured bond.

The Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force, which led the investigation and subsequent arrest, is a coalition of law enforcement personnel from several local Sheriff’s Offices, Police Departments, and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Task Force includes members from the Rappahannock, Fauquier, Orange, Madison, and Culpeper Sheriff’s Offices; the Culpeper, Warrenton, and Orange Police Departments; and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Culpeper Field Office.

This operation underscores the ongoing efforts by local and state law enforcement agencies to tackle drug trafficking and associated crimes in Virginia. The successful arrest and charges brought against Butler represent a significant victory in these efforts. Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious activities to their local law enforcement agencies, as community involvement plays a crucial role in maintaining a safe and drug-free community.

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Landlord-Tenant dispute escalates into gunfire at Shenandoah Farms residence



A long-standing dispute took a dangerous turn early this morning as shots were fired at a Shenandoah Farms residence. Local authorities were summoned to 100 block Mountain Laurel Lane following reports of a heated altercation involving a firearm. The address was previously known to the deputies due to an ongoing conflict between the landlord and the tenants.

Upon arriving at the scene, deputies gathered evidence, including eyewitness accounts and a cell phone video captured by a bystander. The investigation revealed that 68-year-old Alan Wayne Forney allegedly fired a 12-gauge shotgun into the air and above the head of another individual, Jessie Lake, during the heat of the argument.

Forney was promptly arrested on charges of brandishing and recklessly handling a firearm and subsequently transported to the Rappahannock/Warren/Shenandoah Jail. A 12-gauge shotgun believed to be used in the incident was collected from the scene as evidence.

As the investigation continues, officials are encouraging anyone with additional information to come forward. Contact Deputy Doffermire at 540-635-4128 with any relevant details that could aid in the investigation.

This incident serves as a chilling reminder of the potential escalation of ongoing disputes and the role of the community in ensuring safety.


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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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