Counties help with ‘Valley Venue’ drug bust

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

HARRISONBURG — Eight law enforcement agencies in Shenandoah and Page counties helped Virginia State Police round up drugs and drug dealers during the fifth Valley Venue bust on Aug. 24.

The annual collaboration is an effort to crack down on drug manufacturers, traffickers and dealers.

State troopers and investigators with the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force collaborated with federal officials and local law enforcement to arrest 50 to 60 people in five counties for drug-related offenses, according to Josiah Schiavone, coordinator of the task force.

The arrests resulted in 78 felony charges and 25 misdemeanor charges, an Aug. 25 press release from the VSP said.

Charges include possession of a controlled substance, drug distribution and possessing firearms while in possession of a controlled substance, Schiavone said.

According to Sgt. Robert Poe of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and police officers from New Market, Mount Jackson, Edinburg and Strasburg arrested five people on felony and misdemeanor charges.

They also seized heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana, though the amounts weren’t available Thursday, Poe said.

Officers and deputies visited 40 residences, conducted 19 searches and recorded 10 probation violations, Poe said.

Page County deputies and police officers from Shenandoah and Luray seized 15 doses of prescription medication, 13 grams of meth, 6 grams of marijuana and $590 in cash, according to Sheriff Chad Cubbage.

The seized drugs had a value of $2,040, Cubbage said. Data on arrests made in Page County were not available Thursday, he said.

Valley Venue seizures and arrests were conducted in Shenandoah, Page, Clarke, Warren and Frederick counties. Overall, the bust resulted in six search warrants and 77 probation searches, Schiavone said.

Authorities also made 48 traffic stops that resulted in eight summons for faulty equipment, driving without a license and driving on a suspended license, Schiavone said.

Items seized included three weapons, two stolen license plates, and about 38 grams of marijuana, 113 grams of cocaine, 426 doses of prescription medication, 97 grams of crack cocaine, 27 grams of meth and 1 gram of heroin.

The street value of the seized drugs totaled more than $28,500, according to state police.

VSP holds the drug bust on a different day each year to send a united message with local law enforcement, Schiavone said.

“Each patrol unit does traffic stops, each agency does its own individual drug investigations,” he said. “We do this for community impact and to take a shotgun approach to drugs in the community.”

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Virginia Department of Corrections’ Probation and Parole Services also assisted in Valley Venue.

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