Man sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for leading meth conspiracy from Virginia prison
ABINGDON, Va. — Adrian Romero, the lead defendant in an interstate methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy, has been sentenced to 235 months in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced Monday.
Romero, 31, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
Three other co-defendants — Veronica Martinez, 30, of Augusta, Georgia, Alison Atkinson, 30, of Augusta, Georgia, and Clayton Lee Tate, 39, of Austinville, Virginia — will be sentenced later this year and in early 2020 for their roles in the conspiracy, according to a release.
“Unfortunately, crystal methamphetamine, a highly addictive and potentially deadly drug, is too prevalent in far Southwest Virginia,” U.S. Attorney Cullen said. “We are committed to working with our federal, state, and local partners to identify and dismantle distribution networks and send their members to federal prison.”
According to documents filed with the court, from January 2017 to May 2018, Romero led a conspiracy with at least five other individuals to distribute methamphetamine throughout the Western District of Virginia, and elsewhere.
Specifically, Romero admitted to organizing and leading a network of individuals to distribute large amounts of “crystal ice” methamphetamine, a potent form of the drug, from sources in Georgia into Southwest Virginia, according to the release.
Romero further admitted that he led this organization while he was incarcerated in a Virginia prison on other methamphetamine-related charges, says the release.
When his co-conspirators obtained the drug, Romero further directed its distribution in Georgia and Southwest Virginia.
Romero accepted responsibility for trafficking 1.5 kilograms of crystal ice during this conspiracy, according to the release.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Twin County Drug Task Force (Virginia) and Richmond City Police Department and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia.
Bristol man charged in credit card thefts
BRISTOL, Va. — A Bristol man has been arrested after police investigated thefts from vehicles parked at Virginia High School.
Christian Tyler Schlau, 19, has been charged with three counts each of entry into a motor vehicle with intent to commit larceny and credit card theft and five counts each of credit card forgery and credit card fraud, according to the Bristol Virginia Police Department.
Multiple items were stolen from vehicles in mid-October which included credit cards and cash, Sgt. Steve Crawford said. Video surveillance footage was captured and a suspect vehicle was observed, Crawford said. The credit cards were also subsequently used, he added.
Man pleads guilty to estranged wife's murder in dentist's office
BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — A Sullivan County man pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife earlier this year and was sentenced to life in prison.
As part of a plea deal, Harry Clint Weaver, 64, of Blountville, also pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault, felony reckless endangerment and aggravated domestic assault in Sullivan County Criminal Court in Blountville, according to county Assistant District Attorney Kaylin Render.
In February, Weaver shot and killed his wife, Kelly Weaver, 52, at the Colonial Heights dentist's office where she worked. Another person in the office intervened by shooting Weaver and holding him until police arrived.
Sullivan County Sheriff’s deputies found Kelly Weaver lying on the floor with a gunshot wound. Weaver was shot several times by a person with a concealed carry permit, authorities said.
In August, Weaver pleaded not guilty to a number of charges.
He won’t be eligible for parole for at least 51 years — when he would be 115 years old — Render said.
“He was given a life sentence, and I will say we did that with the blessings of the [Kelly Weaver’s] family,” Render said.
By reaching a plea agreement, the prosecution and family avoided a potentially lengthy trial and still found some closure, she added.
Render noted that the sentencing comes during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which she said underscores the importance of finding justice for domestic violence victims.
In 2019, Kelly Weaver obtained a restraining order against her estranged husband. A motion filed after his arrest said Weaver had been "violent" toward his wife and children.
The couple was going through a divorce, witnesses said.
DOC: Drug smuggling operation uncovered at Red Onion
POUND, Va. — A Virginia Department of Corrections Drug Task Force investigation has uncovered a drug smuggling operation at Red Onion State Prison, according to a Twitter post on Friday.
The post said that task force agents questioned two corrections officers at the Wise County state prison.
“Both admitted to trafficking drugs and tobacco into the prison,” the post states. “Charges are pending. The investigation is ongoing.”