Three drug offenders, three deals

Three defendants facing drug charges pleaded guilty in Rappahannock County Circuit Court Thursday, Aug. 1, with Judge Jeffrey W. Parker presiding.

Michael Charles Yeoman, 47, of Herndon, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, and was granted first-offender status on the charge. Parker gave Yeoman two years of supervised probation, 100 hours of community service and a six-month loss of license.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Virginia State Police Trooper Phillip Thomas:

Last Nov. 18, Thomas made a routine traffic stop in Woodville after clocking a vehicle travelling at 51 mph in a 35 mph zone. After issuing summonses to both occupants for not wearing seat belts, Thomas asked the driver if she had any narcotics in the vehicle, and was given permission to perform a search. In the passenger door, Thomas found a pink smoking device, which Yeoman said was his, according to the complaint.

When Thomas asked Yeoman if there were any other narcotics in the vehicle, Yeoman handed the officer a black briefcase from the back seat. Inside was a plastic container containing marijuana, and a cigarette-style holder containing a bag of white powder residue, a razor blade and a red straw section. When asked what was in the plastic bag, Thomas reported that Yeoman told him it was “coke.” Evidence recovered during the search was sent to the lab; the white powder was found to be cocaine.

When asked if he had anything to say before sentencing, Yeoman made an apology Parker said he’s never heard before.

“I’m sorry for wasting my tax money and everyone else’s,” Yeoman said, chuckling. “I pay taxes too, you know.”

In accordance with the first-offender statute, if Yeoman completes his community service and probation without incident, the charge will be dismissed in two years.

Zachary James Hitt, 20, of Amissville, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, and will be sentenced Oct. 22.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office Deputy C. Koglin, Hitt was pulled over after dark on Feb. 17 for suspicious driving behavior. “Upon making contact with Hitt, he was showing signs of impairment,” Koglin’s complaint continued. “His eyes were bloodshot and glassy, [and he exhibited] slurred speech and slow motor skills. Hitt was asked to exit the vehicle, and could barely stand up.”

While standing in front of the police cruiser, an orange pill bottle “popped out” of Hitt’s pants’ pocket, which contained less than a gram of marijuana, the complaint states. “Hitt then admitted to also having heroin and a straw and admitted to snorting it just prior to me stopping him,” Koglin’s report states. After Hitt failed three “field sobriety tests,” a straw section and tinfoil containing heroin was discovered in Hitt’s wallet.

By pleading to heroin possession, charges of possession of marijuana and driving under the influence have been dismissed.

Ashley Pompell, 20, of Chester Gap, will serve eight months in jail after pleading guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor possession with intent to distribute less than a half ounce of marijuana. In accordance with a plea agreement presented by Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff, Parker sentenced Pompell to 12 months in jail (with four months suspended), two years supervised probation and a six-month loss of license.

Presenting evidence to the court, Goff said that last Sept. 15, Pompell met with a minor in Chester Gap. Goff said that $20 exchanged hands, before Pompell and two minors smoked the marijuana behind her Chester Gap home. When RCSO investigator Capt. J.C. Welch questioned Pompell about the incident, Goff said, she confessed, went inside her house and returned with a corncob pipe containing marijuana residue.

Pompell was originally charged with felony possession with intent to distribute marijuana to a minor; that charge was amended to misdemeanor distribution of marijuana in exchange for her guilty plea.

Shotgun thefts to grand jury

Theft charges against 18-year-old Castleton resident Jeremy Dylan Newcamp were certified to a Rappahannock County Circuit Court grand jury on Tuesday (Aug. 13) in district court.

Newcamp is charged with two counts of conspiracy (to enter a structure to commit larceny and to steal shotguns), unlawful possession of a firearm and entering a structure to commit larceny, all of which were certified by Judge J. Gregory Ashwell to go to the grand jury  scheduled to convene Sept. 9.

Newcamp is also charged with one count of grand larceny, but Ashwell did not certify that charge on the grounds that the value of the shotguns had not been established; Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff said this will be accomplished before the grand jury meets.

In court Tuesday, Amissville resident Charles Dodson testified that on April 22 he awoke to find his shed door — in which he kept five shotguns — slightly ajar. Further inspection showed the door’s padlock had been cut and the guns removed, he said.

Dodson said he met Newcamp about a year ago at at Castleton shooting match. Newcamp had approached him earlier in the year about purchasing one of the guns, though Dodson asked him to come back later to discuss it further.

Investigator Capt. J. C. Welch of the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office said he later recovered the guns in the woods behind Amissville resident Rayland Brown’s house. Welch said the guns were under a pile of sticks and leaves, wrapped in black trash bags and covered with mud.

Brown, who testified against Newcamp Tuesday in exchange for full immunity, said Newcamp told him the night before the alleged offenses about “a stash of guns” they could easily take. Though Brown said he initially refused, he later agreed to drive Newcamp near Dodson’s property after midnight on April 21, where Newcamp asked him to drop him off before waiting a few minutes to circle back around and pick him up.

The next morning, Brown said he saw Newcamp take the shotguns out of the car trunk. Brown said he provided Newcamp with big black trash bags to wrap the guns in, and Newcamp dumped them in the woods.

Brown said he tried to find the guns earlier, but couldn’t locate them. When Welch showed up several days later, Brown led him to the area of the woods he believed the guns to be; after some initial searching, Welch located and recovered the shotguns.

— Matt Wingfield


On Friday (Aug. 9), Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Deputy C. Koglin responded to a motor vehicle crash on U.S. 522, where, after investigation, he arrested 46-year-old William Michael Collins of Culpeper and charged him with two felonies — hit and run and driving on a revoked license in a dangerous manner — and two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and refusal to submit to a blood or breath test.

Last Sunday (Aug. 11), as a result of a traffic stop, Sgt. D. Stevens arrested Sperryville resident Chester Brown, 52, and charged him with two misdemeanors — driving under the influence and driving without a license.

— M.W.