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Multi-agency investigation in Virginia leads to 19 drug arrests

A U.S. Attorney calls the modern opioid crisis one of the "most vexing problems" faced by public health officials and law enforcement. A multi-agency investigation in and around the town of Mount Jackson, Virginia that lasted for months and involved officials at the local, state and federal levels has resulted in 19 arrests on charges related to firearms and drug trafficking.

Agencies involved in the investigation at various levels of government included the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives. 

The recently unsealed indictment refers to the alleged drug ring as a conspiracy of which certain members, for a period of time between January 2016 and December 2018, trafficked more than 500 grams of meth and more than 1,000 grams of heroin. 

Four of the 19 individuals in the alleged conspiracy face charges related to firearm possession in addition to federal drug charges. Authorities charged an additional individual, arrested at a Mount Jackson motel, with one count of use of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime as well as one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The owner of a property located in Mount Jackson faces a charge of maintaining the property for the purpose of unlawfully distributing a controlled substance.

The available information makes no mention of court dates, but an assistant United States Attorney is set to prosecute the case. 

The court often imposes severe penalties upon individuals convicted of drug crimes, and individuals facing such charges may wish to consult an attorney regarding a criminal defense. 

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