Connect with us

Crime/Court

RSW Regional Jail Authority will go into a second closed session on personnel issues related to inmate overdose death

Published

on

The agenda for the coming April 28th meeting of the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren (RSW) Regional Jail Authority indicates a second Authority closed session scheduled to discuss personnel issues related to two inmate overdoses with one fatality on December 12, 2021. The first closed session discussion on potential failures of staff regarding the presence of illegal opioid drugs by inmates inside a wing of the facility occurred at the Authority’s March 24th meeting. The minutes of that March meeting reflecting the superintendent’s open session briefing on the incident, as well as the convening and exiting into and out of closed session for further discussion, are on the April 28 Authority agenda for approval.

Regarding the “Death in Custody Briefing” of RSW Regional Jail Superintendent Russ Gilkison on March 24, the meeting minutes state:

“Mr. Gilkison explained that the event took place on the night of December 11 and into the morning of December 12; inmate Daniel Shifflett and inmate Jonte Smith who were both incarcerated; had a medical emergency that was discovered after the fact that it was an overdose. The inmates obtained the heroine (sic) that inmate Shifflett stated that they were taking; from another inmate inside of the housing unit.

“Staff responded to the medical emergency; performed First-Aid, CPR to include AED, administered Narcan, and EMS was called. Mr. Shifflett was revived about the time EMS arrived on the scene, unfortunately, Mr. Smith was not revived by our staff or EMS and was taken via local transport to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on December 12, at 0120 hours (1:20 a.m.).”


Jonte Smith, 21, died on Dec. 12, 2021, as a result of an opioid overdose while an inmate at RSW Regional Jail. He was incarcerated on Sch. I and II drug possession and a firearms charge at the time of his death. Courtesy Photos RSW Jail website

As to the move into closed session for further discussion, the minutes note that: “At 3:02 p.m., Mr. Daley (WC Administrator), seconded by Mr. Butler (WC Sheriff), moved to convene in a closed session pursuant to Virginia Code §2.2-3711-A1 for the discussion of personnel matters involving the performance of specific staff that was involved in the recent deaths in custody.” The motion was carried by the following vote: Steven Baker Absent; Garrey Curry Aye, Mark Butler Aye, Edwin Daley Aye, Van Carney Aye, Delores Oates Aye, Tim Carter Aye, Evan Vass Aye, Connie Compton Aye.

“At 5:18 pm, Mr. Daley, seconded by Mr. Butler, moved to reconvene to open session and certified that only public business matters lawfully exempted from the open meeting requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and identified in the motion to go into closed session were heard, discussed, or considered in the closed session.” That motion was approved by the same unanimous consensus listed above, with the one absence.

Inmate overdose survivor Daniel Shifflett, 32, and a second inmate, Brian Martin, 34, were indicted by a Warren County Grand Jury on April 11 for Second-Degree Murder in what is believed to have been the 21-year-old Smith’s accidental death from an opioid drug overdose. Other pending charges against Shifflett, who was incarcerated on a Probation Violation charge related to earlier drug offenses when he overdosed inside the jail, include 10 counts of distribution of a Schedule I or II substance for at least a third offense. Martin is charged with eight counts of distribution of a Schedule I or II substance for at least a third offense. At the time of his death Smith was incarcerated on possession of Schedule I, II drugs and a firearms charge.

Search Warrant information related to Smith’s death focus much attention on inmate Brian Martin’s role in a suspected smuggling of narcotics into the jail during his Dec. 3, 2021, processing into RSW on drug charges. Along with Martin, Dec. 12 RSW overdose survivor Daniel Shifflett, below, faces a 2nd Degree Murder charge in Smith’s death.

Shifflett and Martin have hearing dates in Warren County Circuit Court on May 16. Both are being held without bond at RSW Regional Jail. The direct indictments handed down by the grand jury contained minimal information surrounding the drug distribution and use in the jail culminating with Smith and Shifflett’s overdoses on December 12. However, other paperwork on file in the court clerk’s office provides additional detail as noted in an earlier NVD story. Much of that detail from affidavits attached to search warrants revolve around Martin.

Martin was arrested in the Town of Front Royal on December 3rd after law enforcement chased him down on foot and recovered a bag of what was described as “Scramble” a Fentanyl-based mixture of drugs, that Martin dropped or threw down during the pursuit. Material attached to a search warrant on file related to the case indicates Martin is believed to have snuck opioid drugs into the jail during his December 3rd processing into RSW. He then began distributing those drugs for profit through deposits made into a cash ap in his name for service expenses inmates are charged for while incarcerated. Those deposits were apparently made by non-incarcerated associates of inmates seeking the drugs.

Several inmates have since failed urine tests, including Martin, who was discovered to have a bag of powder believed to be heroin stuffed down his pants in the wake of the December 12 overdose incident and fatality.

Contacted about the timing of the grand jury indictments nearly four months to the day after the Smith overdose fatality, Warren County Commonwealth Attorney John Bell said that newly convened grand jury was the first seated after his staff was able to sit down with Warren County Sheriff’s Office investigators to get a summary of their findings. After that briefing his staff felt confident in proceeding with charges against Shifflett and Martin related to the overdose death of inmate Smith, Bell indicated. Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Nick Manthos is lead prosecutor in the Shifflett and Martin cases.

Royal Examiner has tried to acquire additional information on the suspected drug distribution scheme inside the jail that led to Shifflett and Martin facing essentially the same legal liability in Smith’s death. However, jail officials, prosecutors, and investigators are limited in public comment on the cases due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Share the News:

Crime/Court

Town man charged with 20 felony counts of child pornography possession after lengthy investigation

Published

on

Following an eight-month investigation, Front Royal Police officers have arrested a town man for possession of child pornography.

Richard E. Jones, 41, of Front Royal, was arrested on Thursday, June 30, and transported to the Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren (RSW) Regional Jail, where he was charged with 20 felony counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

Richard E. Jones has been charged with 20 felony counts of child pornography possession. He is being held without bond at RSW Regional Jail. Photo courtesy of RSW Regional Jail.

A Friday media release from Police Chief Kahle Magalis states that detectives, on Oct. 12, 2021, executed a search warrant on an Accomac Drive home, where “several electronic devices were located and seized for evidentiary purposes.” The release says, “Over 400 images of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) were extracted from the seized electronics.”


Jones went before the magistrate and was ordered to be held without bond. He has an initial court date for the listed offenses on July 28, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

FRPD Detective T. A. Smith is the lead investigator in the case. Anyone with further information regarding this case is asked to contact Detective Smith at (540) 636-2208 or by email at tasmith@frontroyalva.com.

The Front Royal Police Department is an active member of the Northern Virginia/DC Metro (NOVA/DC) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which is coordinated by the Virginia State Police. Anyone with information regarding the solicitation or exploitation of a minor is encouraged to contact the Front Royal Police Department.

Share the News:

Continue Reading

Crime/Court

Front Royal Police investigating an unattended death in Town

Published

on

The Front Royal Police Department is investigating an unattended death after responding to a Thursday night, June 30 call around 10:30 p.m.

Upon arriving at First Bank, at 1729 North Shenandoah Avenue, officers located a deceased white male, 41, in the grassy area between First Bank and United Bank parking lots. The Front Royal man, whom the FRPD has not identified, appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A media release from FRPD Chief Kahle Magalis said the victim was not affiliated with the bank and is believed to have walked there from a nearby hotel. This incident is under investigation with assistance from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The release states, “Due to the pending nature of this ongoing investigation and respect for his family, no further details can be provided at this time.”


Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Detective T. A. Smith at (540) 636-2208 or by email at tasmith@frontroyalva.com.

Share the News:

Continue Reading

Crime/Court

Virginia’s annual crime analysis report now available on Virginia State Police website

Published

on

Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2021, titled Crime in Virginia, is now available online at the Virginia State Police website on the VSP CJIS Data Analysis & Reporting Team page. Crime in Virginia continues to provide precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses and arrests by reporting agency.

Violent crime includes the offenses of murder, forcible sex offenses (rape, sodomy and sexual assault with an object per the FBI’s updated rape definition), robbery and aggravated assault. Overall, the violent crime rate increased in 2021 to 194.4 (per 100,000 population) from 183.0 in 2020.  There were 16,823 violent crime offenses reported in 2021 compared to 15,713 violent crime offenses reported in 2020, representing a 7.1% increase.

The following 2021 crime figures in Virginia are presented in the report:

  • The number of reported homicides increased from 528 to 562 (6.4%).  The murder/non-negligent manslaughter rate increased from 6.15 in 2020 to 6.49 in 2021 (per 100,000 population).  Victims and offenders tended to be younger males; 38.6% of homicide victims were men between 18 and 34 and 55.7% of known offenders were men between 18 and 34.  Nearly half (47.5%) of all homicides occurred at a residence/home.
  • Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts increased 3.8% compared to 2020. During 2021, there were 11,638 motor vehicles reported stolen in 11,249 offenses. In 2021, 7,589 motor vehicles were recovered (vehicles may have been stolen prior to 2021).  Of all motor vehicles stolen, 35.4% were taken from the residence/home.  The reported value of all motor vehicles stolen was $131,738,135.
  • Drug arrests decreased by nearly half (46.7%) with the largest percentage decrease in arrestees under age 25 (67.6%).  The number of reports of drugs seized decreased for nearly all drug types, especially marijuana (67%), due in part to decriminalization of possessing less than 1 ounce of the drug effective July 1, 2020 and Code of Virginia §18.2-250.1 being repealed July 1, 2021.
  • Burglary decreased by 8.3% between 2020 and 2021. In fact, burglaries and attempted burglaries have steadily declined over the past ten years. In 2021, there were 10,464 burglaries and attempted burglaries whereas in 2011 there were 27,872, representing a decreased burglary rate in the last decade from 344.24 to 120.89 per 100,000 population.
  • Fraud offenses increased 8.4% compared to 2020. Nearly 80% of victims (79.9%) were individuals while 11.3% were businesses. Nearly a quarter (23.2%) of fraud victims were over the age 65.
  • Of the known weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were used in 82.1% of homicides and 48.6% of robberies. Firearms were used in more than one-third (38.7%) of aggravated assault cases.
  • There were 123 hate crime offenses, involving 106 victims, reported in 2021.  This represents a 35.3% decrease compared to 2020. Most hate crimes (69.8%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward sexual orientation and religion were next highest (19.0%, 8.7%, respectively). Of all reported bias motivated crimes, 75.6% were assault offenses (aggravated assault, simple assault) or destruction/damage/vandalism of property.

The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.


Per state mandate, the Department of Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriff’s offices. The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via a secured internet system. This information is then compiled into Crime in Virginia, an annual report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public. These data become the official crime statistics for the Commonwealth and are sent to the FBI for incorporation into their annual report, Crime in the United States.

Share the News:

Continue Reading

Crime/Court

Trio of Front Royal women plead guilty to oxycodone distribution ring

Published

on

A Front Royal woman pleaded guilty Monday to being the “ringleader” of a decade-long oxycodone distribution network, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Candie Marie Calix, 40, worked as an office manager for an unnamed Arlington, VA doctor, according to court records that identify the doctor as “Doctor-1.”

Kendall Sovereign, 56, and Jessica Talbott, 35, both of Front Royal, also pleaded guilty to being co-conspirators in the drug ring.

Between 2012 and 2022, court records state that the doctor prescribed Calix nearly 40,000 oxycodone 30-mg pills and over 9,000 oxycodone 15-mg pills. The doctor also prescribed similar quantities of oxycodone 30-mg and 15-mg pills to Calix’s relatives, including her mother, grandparents, great-grandmother, husband, and brother.


Court records indicate that Calix distributed or directed others to distribute most of the pills prescribed to Calix and her family members by “Doctor-1.”

The U.S. attorney’s office said that Calix “functioned as the gatekeeper” to the doctor and recruited people she knew from the Front Royal area to be “patients” of the doctor and obtain large quantities of oxycodone.

These “patients,” officials say, “typically kicked back the oxycodone 30-mg pills they were prescribed to Calix to redistribute and kept the oxycodone 15-mg pills for their own use.”

“Calix and her co-conspirators used coded language to refer to the pills they distributed, for example, referring to oxycodone 30-mg pills as ‘tickets,’ ‘blueberries,’ or ‘muffins,’” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a media release.

Court documents show that co-conspirators “typically sold oxycodone 30-mg pills at a cost of $25 per pill, and over the course of the conspiracy, generated at least $5,000 per month in profits.”

Calix is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, though actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties, the release states. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Sovereign and Talbott are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept 21.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Rumbaugh.

Share the News:


Continue Reading

Crime/Court

New information revealed during presentation of plea agreement in William Luckey sexual solicitation of a minor case

Published

on

Citing the agreement of the family of the minor victim, early Friday afternoon, June 24, in Warren County Circuit Court the prosecution and defense submitted a plea agreement with amended charges in the sexual solicitation and indecent liberties against a minor case against former Christendom College professor William Raymond Luckey. After hearing information from both sides in support of the amended complaint and plea agreement, including responses by the 73-year-old defendant to a series of questions from the bench, Judge William Sharp accepted the agreement as presented.

As a result, Luckey plead guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges of sexual battery of a minor and attempted sexual battery of a minor. Judge Sharpe then sentenced Luckey to a total of 24 months in jail, 12 months on each count, with all that time suspended minus the 18 days he spent in RSW Regional Jail in the wake of his June 25, 2021 arrest, three days after the incident occurred. He was released on a $50,000 bond after a second bond hearing at the Circuit Court level on July 12, 2021. He was initially denied bond following a hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

William R. Luckey at the time of his June 25, 2021, booking at RSW Jail on indecent liberties charges against a minor alleged to have occurred three days earlier. Photo RSW Jail website

Luckey was initially charged at the felony level with Solicitation of Prostitution from a minor less than age 16” and two charges of “Indecent liberties … of a child less than 15”.


Luckey was apologetic for the incident, telling the court, “I am absolutely sorry for what happened,” adding specific apologies to the victim and family and to his wife, the latter of whom he observed had been “put through hell” as a consequence of the incident. “I don’t know what got into me,” Luckey added of the offer of $10 to the under 15 years of age victim to “see” and “pat their hiney” as described in the arrest warrant.

A hint of “what got into” the defendant on June 22, 2021, was offered by defense counsel Thaddeus Furlong during his comments in support of the plea agreement. Furlong told the court that among the myriad health problems that his client battles cited during previous hearings, including consequences of past back and brain injuries, cardiac problems, and high blood pressure, Luckey was battling early signs of dementia at the time of the incident. He added that Luckey had undergone brain surgery in the intervening year since the incident occurred.

As he has at previous hearings in recent months, Luckey appeared frail, utilizing a walker to move cautiously about. However, his answers to the court’s questions were concise and responsive.
Outside the courthouse following resolution of the case, Furlong told Royal Examiner, “We are glad it’s over. Mr. Luckey suffers from progressive dementia – he doesn’t remember what happened or why. He is very, very sorry.”

In addition to the two years of suspended time, Luckey will be required to register with the Virginia Sex Offender Registry and serve 24 months probation.

In prefacing his acceptance of the plea agreement, Judge Sharp noted that Luckey had been facing “very serious felony charges” originally with “evidence in support” of conviction. However, he noted that an out-of-court resolution in such cases was often preferred by both sides to avoid the necessity of a minor child having to testify, with the potentially damaging effects rippling through the victim into their family.

Citing the support of the victim’s family for the plea agreement, Judge Sharp said, “I find this a reasonable and proper disposition of the case,” in accepting Luckey’s two guilty pleas to the amended, lesser charges.

William Luckey spent 18 days in jail in the wake of his June 25, 2021, arrest before being granted bail. He will spend no more time there in the wake of a plea agreement accepted by the court on Friday, June 24. It was noted that the minor victim’s family agreed with the offered resolution.

That a plea agreement was in the offing had been hinted at when both a May 16 hearing at which a trial date was expected to be set was continued, and that hearing was again continued on June 3.

“I think we are making progress toward resolving this case,” the Stafford-based Furlong commented on May 16, adding on June 3, “We’re very close.”

And now as of June 24, all involved can move on with the rest of their lives.

 

Share the News:

Continue Reading

Crime/Court

POLICE: 7 Day FRPD Arrest Report 6/20/2022

Published

on

 

Share the News:

Continue Reading

 

Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

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 Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

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

National Media Services

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

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

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

Vetbuilder.com

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

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

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

Front Royal
79°
Sunny
5:52am8:41pm EDT
Feels like: 81°F
Wind: 1mph NNE
Humidity: 48%
Pressure: 30.2"Hg
UV index: 6
TueWedThu
90/72°F
90/70°F
82/70°F

Upcoming Events

Jul
6
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 6 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jul
8
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 8 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Jul
9
Sat
all-day Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 9 – Jul 10 all-day
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Don’t miss your chance to camp out in the beautiful Historic Mount Bleak backyard. See all that Sky Meadows has to offer through activities beginning at noon on Saturday and running until noon[...]
Jul
13
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 13 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jul
15
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 15 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Jul
16
Sat
10:00 am Summer Wild Edible Plants: Earth... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Summer Wild Edible Plants: Earth... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 16 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Summer Wild Edible Plants: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. Join professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch to learn about the remarkable springtime wild edible and medicinal plants of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This full-day hike will cover native and[...]
Jul
17
Sun
12:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 17 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program series examines all aspects[...]
Jul
20
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 20 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jul
22
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 22 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!