Joint operation results in the arrest of 10

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

The Virginia State Police along with the Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force in a joint operation seized more than $4.4 million dollars in marijuana and other illegal narcotics and made 10 arrests throughout six counties the week of December 11th .

In addition, $340,650 in cash and weapons was recovered.

The Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force is composed of law enforcement personnel from the Orange, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Culpeper, and Madison Sheriff’s Offices; Culpeper,
Warrenton, Orange Police Departments; and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Local law enforcement ramp up efforts against drunk driving

Used by permission by the Warren County Office employee Sergeant Terry Fritts

Law Enforcement from around the Commonwealth are ramping up their efforts to stop drunk driving this holiday season.

Earlier this week, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office reminded drivers that buzzed driving is drunk driving.

They also shared data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that showed alcohol impaired drivers contributed to 13,384 fatalities in 2021.

On average, one person killed by drunk driving every 39 minutes.

Virginia State Police collaborated with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a DUI checkpoint on Wednesday night which resulted in 26 issued summons.

They were for various other violations like driving without a license or expired inspections, but showed the State Police has already begun their efforts to deter impaired driving this holiday season.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office provided some tips and reminders for safe travel this holiday season including to plan ahead if you know you will be drinking, designate a sober driver, or utilize a taxi or ride sharing option.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Virginia wildfires update

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

The Virginia Department of Forestry is reporting that as of Friday, November 10th, there were 19 wildfires in Virginia that have burned over 9,424 acres including the Quaker Run Fire in Madison County.

Crews are continuing to install sprinkler heads around Camp Hoover near the Rapidan Wildlife Area.

Smoke continues to be a concern in Shenandoah National Park and hikers are encouraged to plan hikes away from the east side of the central portion of the park.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

State of emergency and price gouging protections triggered by wildfires

Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency due to the wildfires in Madison and Patrick Counties.

The state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize additional resources in response and recovery efforts as the fire has become more challenging due to the drought conditions.

The declaration then triggered Virginia’s price gouging protections which are designed to protect consumers from paying exorbitant prices for necessities during a thirty day period following a state of emergency.

Violations of the act are enforceable by the Attorney General’s office and should be reported for investigation.

The basic test for determining price gouging is if the post-disaster price grossly exceeds the price 10 days prior.

Some of the items included are water, ice, food, generators, home repair materials, and tree removal services.

Consumers can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section for additional information or to file a complaint by:

  • Phone at (800)-552-9963
  • Email: consmuer@oag.state.va.us
  • Online Complaint Form, available here

For more information on price gouging, click here.

To view the Governor’s announcement, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

DUI arrest follows fatal car crash in Madison County

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

Virginia State Police are investigating a single car crash that occurred in Madison County on Sunday July 16th at 12:20 AM, according to Corinne Geller, a representative of the State Police.

A 2003 Ford F-150 was traveling South on Old Blue Ridge Turnpike, less than a mile from Finks Hollow Road, when it ran off the road and struck several trees.

The passenger, Maya D. Powell, 20, of Culpeper, died at the scene.

The driver, Shawn A. Lohr, 19, of Rixeyville, suffered minor injuries.

Neither were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the impact.

Lohr was arrested for a DUI and driving under the influence while under the age of 21.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.