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Martinsburg man convicted of sex trafficking, distributing fatal doses of fentanyl and evidence tampering

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Kendall Demarko Wysinger was convicted of a number of crimes this week, including distribution of fentanyl resulting in death in Winchester.

HARRISONBURG – A Martinsburg, West Virginia, man, who used heroin as a means to control numerous women he trafficked as part of a commercial prostitution ring that operated in the Western District of Virginia, and elsewhere, was convicted this week following a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg. United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen made the announcement in a Department of Justice news release.

Kendall Demarko Wysinger, 42, was convicted on Monday, January 14, 2019, of one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, one count of interstate transportation for prostitution, one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of evidence tampering, following a six-day jury trial. At sentencing, Wysinger faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of life.

“An individual who preyed on vulnerable victims and destroyed numerous lives through opioid distribution and sex trafficking will now spend the better part of his life in federal prison,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated. “We are extremely grateful for the hard work and persistence of the FBI, the Virginia State Police, and our numerous local law-enforcement partners in bringing him to justice.”

“The I-81 Human Trafficking Task Force continues to work vigorously to identify and bring to trial the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, and partner with victim service providers to ensure victims are able to obtain the necessary care to recover and rebuild their lives,” said FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge, MaryJo Thomas.

According to evidence presented at trial, Wysinger operated a prostitution ring with at least six victims in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. Through the course of the conspiracy, Wysinger used heroin to coerce his victims into engaging in commercial sex and employed threats and intimidation to ensure he maintained power and control over those victims.

Wysinger routinely advertised these victims for commercial sex using online classified ads in Winchester, Virginia, and Shenandoah County, Virginia, and used social media accounts to target and recruit women into his sex-trafficking operation. The defendant demanded his victims provide him nearly all of the money they received from commercial sex in order to pay their drug debts to him and his charges for transporting them to prostitution dates.

On one occasion, in Winchester, VA, the heroin Wysinger distributed resulted in two overdoses. Wysinger gave what he said was heroin to one victim of his sex trafficking ring and her friend. The substance was actually fentanyl, a far more powerful synthetic opioid, and both victims overdosed after ingesting it. One victim died as a result of the fentanyl poisoning. Wysinger was with both victims when they overdosed and destroyed the evidence from the crime scene.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s I-81 Human Trafficking Task Force (I-81 HTTF), the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force (NWRDGTF). Assistant United States Attorneys Erin M. Kulpa and Rachel Swartz prosecuted the case for the United States.

The I-81 HTTF is a collaborative effort of law enforcement and community partners focused on identifying instances of human trafficking along the I-81 corridor in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland; prosecuting those responsible; and, providing assistance to the victims impacted by these crimes. The I-81 HTTF includes law enforcement from the counties of Frederick, Clarke, and Shenandoah as well as the cities and towns of Front Royal, Hagerstown, and Frederick, Maryland and Lord Fairfax Community College.

The NWRDGTF uses the combined efforts of local, state, and federal agencies to actively pursue those groups or individuals who manufacture, distribute, or sell illegal narcotics. The NWRDGTF is comprised of the Virginia State Police, the Winchester Police Department, the Front Royal Police Department, the Strasburg Police Department, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the Page County Sheriff’s Office, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.

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Delaware man facing multiple charges after I-81 pursuit

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A New Castle, DE, man is behind bars on multiple charges after he fled law enforcement Sunday, January 10, 2021. Virginia State Police have charged Marquez D. Adams, 27, in Shenandoah County with one felony count of eluding law enforcement, one count of reckless driving by speed, one count of reckless driving failure to maintain control, one count of driving with a revoked license, and one count of driving with a phone in hand.

Marquez D. Adams. Photo / RSW Regional Jail

State Police initiated the traffic stop at approximately 7:50 p.m. as a 2002 BMW 330CI was traveling South on Interstate 81 at the 286 mile-marker in Shenandoah County. The violation was for speeding, as the BMW was driving 100 mph in a posted 70 mph zone.

The pursuit continued onto Rt. 42 in Woodstock, Rt. 11 in Edinburg, and in Mount Jackson before ending back on I-81 South. The BMW eventually ran off the left side of the roadway causing it to collide with a State Police patrol car before being contained on the right shoulder on I-81 at the 263-mile-marker. The driver, Adams, was taken into custody and transported to RSW Regional Jail and held without bond.

No troopers were injured during the course of the pursuit.

The pursuit reached speeds of up to 130 mph.


Vehicle pursuit through Warren County results in multiple struck vehicles before ending on 6th Street in Front Royal

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Vehicle pursuit through Warren County results in multiple struck vehicles before ending on 6th Street in Front Royal

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On Monday, January 11, 2021, at approximately 4:32 PM, a Warren County Sheriff’s Office deputy observed a Mercedes travelling at a high rate of speed in the area of Riverton. The WCSO deputy attempted to stop the Mercedes for a traffic violation in the area of 522 Park and Ride, and the driver of the Mercedes refused to obey and yield for the deputy. The driver of the Mercedes then crossed a concrete traffic barrier, driving into the opposite lane of travel where the Mercedes struck an occupied vehicle, failed to stop and then continued eastbound onto Interstate 66.

The driver of the Mercedes continued to accelerate at a high rate of speed and the deputy lost sight of the vehicle and terminated the pursuit. Within a short time after the termination of the pursuit, local citizens began calling the Warren County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications 9-1-1 Center to report a Mercedes driving recklessly, forcing other motorists off the road and passing dangerously across the double yellow lined roadway of John Marshall Highway travelling into the Town of Front Royal. WCSO deputies responded to that area and located the aforementioned Mercedes. As WCSO deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver of the Mercedes continued to refuse to yield and took flight at a high rate of speed onto Leach Run Parkway.

The pursuit ended on 6th Street in the area of Manassas Avenue, in Front Royal, when it struck several parked vehicles and one occupied vehicle. Charges against the driver of the Mercedes, whose name was not released because they were determined to be a juvenile, are pending the Virginia State Police investigation of the collision. Warren County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Warren County Fire and Rescue, Front Royal Police Department and Virginia State Police. Any questions pertaining to the crash investigation should be directed to the Virginia State Police.


Delaware man facing multiple charges after I-81 pursuit

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Accused 2008 murderer of Buddhist monk in Fauquier denied bond

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The 62-year-old Korean man arrested November 30 in Georgia for the 2008 murder of Du Chil Park, also known as Buddhist Monk Mogu, was denied bail in his first court appearance since being extradited to Fauquier County on December 15.

Won Yong Jung was in Fauquier County General District Court on December 23 seeking release on a cash bond. As initially reported by “Fauquier Now”, that bond was denied following a 20-minute hearing during which the prosecution described the knife attack on the 56-year-old Park as “brutal” and contended Jung remains a threat, not only to flee due to the gravity of the Second-Degree Murder charge and the top end 40-year sentence it carries, but to the community at large.

Accused murderer Won Yong Jung. Courtesy Photo Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office

As noted by Fauquier Now, in denying the bond request Judge Allison Coppage ruled for Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cooke’s arguments that the defendant, who utilized an English to Korean translator during the hearing, had not effectively countered the prosecution’s case against bond. Jung’s next scheduled court date is April 8 for a preliminary hearing on the evidence at the root of the Commonwealth’s Second-Degree Murder case against Jung.

As Royal Examiner initially reported following Jung’s arrest in his home area of Duluth, in Gwinnett County, Georgia, over 12 years earlier Park’s body was discovered several days after his death from multiple stab wounds at his Free State Road property in Marshall. Information released by Fauquier authorities in the wake of his 2008 murder indicated Park came to America in 1998 and established the Jungtosa Zen Buddhist Temple in the Springfield area of Fairfax County, moving the temple to Marshall in March of 2004 and continuing his healing work in acupuncture and moxibustion, the latter also “an oriental medicine therapy”.

Born in Kyong Ju, South Korea around 1951-52, Fauquier authorities also noted that “in the 1970’s/80’s Park was an activist against former Korean military governments. He was imprisoned in 1974 for hiding an activist on the run and then became a Monk in 1978” and “operated a small temple in Chung Noung, a part of Seoul, where he treated poor people with acupuncture and moxibustion.”

A Warren County resident with connections to Park and his healing work as Monk Mogu, noted he often travelled to the Front Royal area to treat children and adults, some with serious physical disabilities. “His Mantra was always ‘to help alleviate pain for all sentient beings’,” that area friend told this reporter.

It will be interesting to hear the prosecution address motive in Jung’s alleged murder of Du Chil Park, or Monk Mogu as he was known to patients and friends of his temple.

Du Chil Park, also known as Monk Mogu – Courtesy Photo

Fauquier authorities make arrest in 2008 murder of Marshall-based Buddhist Monk

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Local man and woman arrested for vehicle theft

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On Monday, November 30, 2020, the Front Royal Police Department received two reports regarding thefts from vehicles. Incidents occurred at Front Royal Christian School, located at 80 N. Lake Ave. and the other at Commonwealth Assisted Living, located at 600 Mount View St. Security video footage was reviewed at Front Royal Christian School, which showed a dark-colored Escalade entering the parking lot. A female driver and male passenger were both seen entering vehicles without consent, where money was reported missing. The victim from Commonwealth Assisted Living reported her purse and wallet missing.

The suspects were identified as James Warren, 33, and Shawnte Mullins, 22, both of Front Royal. Warren and Mullins were contacted and interviewed. Both suspects admitted to their involvement in these incidents. The suspects also admitted to committing similar crimes in Frederick County, VA. James Warren was charged with 3 counts § 18.2-147 Climb into Vehicle/Boat to Commit Crime and 2 counts § 18.2-96 Petit Larceny. Shawnte Mullins was charged with § 18.2-147 Climb into Vehicle/Boat to Commit Crime and § 18.2-96 Petit Larceny.

James Warren, 33. Photo is courtesy of RSW Regional Jail. There is no photo available for Shawnte Mullins.

James Warren and Shawnte Mullins were arrested on December 21, 2020, without incident and transported to Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren (RSW) Regional Jail where they went before the magistrate and released on a $5000 secured bond. Their first court appearance will be December 29, 2020, at 10:00 am in Warren County General District Court.

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Luray woman pleads guilty to federal drug conspiracy charge

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A Luray woman, whom police stopped for driving with a suspended license and found to be in possession of methamphetamine and other drugs, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court to a pair of federal drug charges, Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar announced.

Amanda Marie Catoe, 32, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of possessing with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Catoe faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison. She will be sentenced on April 21, 2021.
“Methamphetamine continues to plague communities in the Western District,” Acting U.S. Attorney Bubar stated today. “Prosecuting those that distribute meth and therefore perpetuate the destruction caused by it continues to be a top priority of this office and I appreciate the hard work of our federal and state partners that went into this case.”

According to court documents, on January 8, 2019, officers stopped Catoe’s vehicle for driving with a suspended license. A narcotics canine arrived at the scene and alerted to the vehicle. Upon searching the vehicle, officers found several bags of methamphetamine, marijuana, and cash.

A search warrant was executed at Catoe’s residence in Luray. Officers found methamphetamine hidden under the stairs, hallucinogenic mushrooms, morphine, psilocyn, documents detailing prior drug transactions, and at least ten firearms, including four shotguns and four rifles.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm, and Explosives, Luray Police Department, and Page County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jeb Terrien is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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Fauquier authorities make arrest in 2008 murder of Marshall-based Buddhist Monk

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According to a November 30 press release, the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) was involved in a joint operation in Georgia resulting in the arrest of a suspect in the June 2008 murder of a former South Korean political activist and Buddhist monk known for his non-traditional medical healing methods and work amongst the poor in his native South Korea. From that release: “Warrenton – The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in the 2008 murder of Du Chil Park, 56 of Marshall, Virginia.

Suspect Won Yong Jung arrested in Atlanta suburb last week for 2008 murder of Buddhist Monk Mogu in Marshall, Va. Courtesy Photo Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office

“On November 30, 2020, the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the FBI and Gwinnett County, Georgia Police Department arrested 62-year-old Won Yong Jung of Duluth, Georgia for the 2008 murder of Du Chil Park. Jung was taken into custody in Gwinnett County, Georgia, a suburb north of Atlanta, where he was residing. He remains in custody awaiting extradition to Virginia.”

According to FCSO Public Information Officer Sgt. Steven Lewis, as of December 7 extradition was still being worked out for the transfer of Jung back to Fauquier County.

The Jung arrest press release further notes that, “The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office continue to investigate this case and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office at 540-422-8624 or by email at cid@fauquiercounty.gov …”

Background

The following is information from the Fauquier Sheriff’s Office’s 2008 press release on Park’s murder from multiple stab wounds tracing his South Korean activist’s roots and installation and work as a Buddhist monk. His body was discovered days after his murder. “Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office detectives have identified the victim of the homicide which occurred last week in the 5200 block of Free State Road, Marshall, VA.

“On Sunday, June 29, 2008 Du Chil Park, AKA: Mogu, a 56-year-old Buddhist Monk, was found murdered as a result of multiple wounds. Investigation has revealed the victim was born in Kyong Ju, (South) Korea, where he practiced acupuncture and moxibustion (an oriental medicine therapy). In the 1970’s/80’s Mr. Park was an activist against former Korean military governments. He was imprisoned in 1974 for hiding an activist on the run and then became a Monk in 1978. He has been praised for helping the poor. He operated a small temple in Chung Noung, a part of Seoul, where he treated poor people with acupuncture and moxibustion.

“Mr. Park came to the United States approximately ten (10) years ago (1998). He began the Jungtosa Zen Buddhist Temple on Old Keene Mill Road in the Springfield area of Fairfax County. In March of 2004 Mr. Park moved the temple to the Marshall area, where he continued working in the area of acupuncture and moxibustion.”

This reporter recalled from initial coverage of the Buddhist monk’s murder that he had connections to the Front Royal-Warren County community. We contacted one of those connections who recalled, “Monk Mogu traveled to the Front Royal area frequently to treat children and adults with and without disabilities – and had some friends locally. His Mantra was always ‘to help alleviate pain for all sentient beings’.”

Du Chil Park, aka Monk Mogu, was recalled by local friend for his spiritual commitment ‘to help alleviate pain for all sentient beings’. – Courtesy Photo

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