Road Closures for July 3rd Rockin’ Independence Eve in Old Town Winchester

fireworksThe third annual Rockin’ Independence Eve event will be held in Old Town Winchester on Friday, July 3rd from 5 to 11 p.m. The following is a schedule for the evening including road closures.

Road Closures – July 3rd

3 p.m. for Fireworks Setup

  • East Lane from Cork Street to Woodstock Lane, Philpot Street, Woodstock Lane at the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road. Only local residents will be permitted access. There will be no westbound traffic permitted on Woodstock Lane from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. All motorists are encouraged to use Cork Street from Pleasant Valley Road to access the downtown area.
  • Boscawen Street, from Indian Alley to Cameron Street

5 p.m.

  • Parking garages switch to $5 flat rate managed by Sheriff’s volunteers. Rooftops will not be available for firework viewing.

5:30 p.m.

  • Event entertainment begins at Feltner Parking lot.

7:30 p.m.

  • Kent Street, from E. Boscawen Street to E. Piccadilly Street (Kent Street entrance to G.W. Autopark remains open)

9:00 p.m.

  • Piccadilly Street from Kent Street to Cameron Street – Eastbound Traffic
  • Bands take a break to encourage people to move towards firework viewing areas.

9:20 p.m.

  • Fireworks begin

Roads will reopen at the conclusion of the fireworks and once pedestrian traffic has cleared.

Police Investigate Robbery at Hotel

BestWestern1The Winchester Police Department is investigating a robbery that happened Monday night at Best Western. Around 10 p.m. officers responded to 711 Millwood Avenue for a robbery. A front desk clerk informed officers that a white male came into the lobby, indicated he had a gun, and demanded money. He left the business with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect was last seen running behind the hotel toward the back parking lot and getting into a red, older model vehicle.

The male is described as being between 20 and 30 years-old with a skinny build, around 5’ 10” tall, and was wearing a black hoodie, black hat, dark cargo shorts, and had facial hair.

Anyone who is able to provide information on the incident is encouraged to call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS. Individuals who are able to provide information that leads to an arrest in the case could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 and remember you can remain anonymous.

BestWestern2

 

Law Enforcement Officials Announce Results of Heroin Investigations

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Two Defendants Sentenced; Baltimore Source Pleads Guilty

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA – Acting United States Attorney Anthony P. Giorno, along with officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, announced today three significant case results in the ongoing effort to combat the rising use and abuse of heroin.

In separate hearings today in the United States District Court, two local defendants were sentenced for distributing heroin that led to fatal overdoses while a third defendant, a Baltimore man who authorities identified as a major source of heroin in the Winchester region, pled guilty to a drug trafficking conspiracy that led to at least six heroin overdoses, three of which were fatal.

“The positive outcomes in these cases highlight the tireless efforts by law enforcement in this area to combat the epidemic of heroin overdoses that continues to torment the region and that has been spreading across the country,” Acting United States Attorney Anthony P. Giorno said today. “We will continue to pursue these important cases and will target the sources of this heroin both locally and elsewhere. These efforts supplement our continuing support for education, prevention and treatment programs that are similarly necessary to the success of our endeavors to combat heroin use and abuse in the region.”

“Heroin is not just a “big city” problem as evident in today’s sentencing announcements. Mr. Giles led a complex heroin trafficking network, controlling numerous drug dealers and drug users. Mr. Giles brought this lethal drug into the community of peaceful Winchester, Virginia, robbing people of their lives,” said Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “I say to drug dealers like Mr. Giles, there are no winners in this life and death game you have chosen to play. You will lose and pay a severe price for your actions. The announcement today is the result of the partnership between DEA agents, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Virginia. We will continue our work with our law enforcement partners and the community, every day, combating these dangerous drug trafficking organizations.”

“These cases were investigated from overdoses in the Northern Shenandoah Valley Region that are continuing to lead to significant suppliers in Baltimore, Maryland, thanks to a cooperative effort with the DEA, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force,” Virginia State Police Special Agent Jay Perry, Coordinator of the Task Force, said today. “Our combined efforts are bringing and will continue to bring large scale dealers from Baltimore, Maryland, that are putting heroin on our local streets, to justice. We want Baltimore heroin dealers to take notice; when you sell to Virginia registered vehicles, and our citizens, we will track you down.”

Today in District Court, Christopher Rojuan Giles a.k.a. “C” and “Charlie,” 27, of Randallstown, Maryland, pled guilty to a one count information charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin which resulted in six overdoses. Giles admitted today that between February 2013 and October 2014, he and other members of the conspiracy conspired to distribute more than 1,000 grams of heroin, resulting in overdoses, more than 280 grams of cocaine base (“crack”), and powder cocaine.

Evidence presented at today’s hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth G. Wright showed the Giles, who operated in various locations in and around Baltimore, was a major source of heroin for smaller dealers and heroin users in the Winchester area. Evidence presented also proved that the heroin Giles distributed led to at least six heroin overdoses, including three fatal overdoses. The overdoses include the death of T.R.C. on November 17, 2013, the death of R.F.L. on March 19-20, 2014, the overdose of J.H.H. on March 21, 2014, the overdose of B.D.W. on April 5, 2014, the overdose of G.R.F. on September 5, 2014, and the death of B.E.W. on October 10, 2014. At sentencing, Giles faces a statutory penalty of between 20 years and life in prison.

As part of this plea, Giles admitted he provided the heroin that led to the non-fatal overdoses of J.H.H. and B.D.W. in March and April 2014, respectively. Three other defendants have previously been sentenced in federal court based upon the overdose of J.H.H. Two defendants, Stephanie Diane Alkire, 23, of Winchester, Virginia, and Donna Jean Jenkins, 37, of Winchester, Virginia, have previously entered pleas of guilty to distribution of heroin in connection with the overdose of B.D.W.

In a separate hearing, Scott Matthew Pierce, 44, of Stephens City, Virginia, who previously pled guilty to distributing heroin that led to an overdose, was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison. Pierce, who routinely purchased heroin from Giles in Baltimore and transported it back to Winchester, previously admitted to distributing heroin to victim R.F.L. on March 19, 2014. R.F.L. subsequently used the heroin purchased from Pierce, overdosed and died.

In May 2015, Brandy Dawn Kelly, 36, of Winchester, Virginia, pled guilty to one count in an indictment charging her and Giles with conspiracy to distribute heroin which resulted in the overdose of R.F.L., based upon their distributions with Pierce.

In a third hearing today, Danielle Nicole Orndorff, 27, of Winchester, Virginia, who previously pled guilty to distributing heroin that led to two overdoses, was sentenced to 163 months in federal prison.

Combined with time she is serving for a state sentence pertaining to the first of the two overdoses, the total sentence is 15 years. Orndorff previously admitted to distributing heroin to victims B.M.B. and J.W.S., who both used the heroin and subsequently overdosed and died.

The investigation of these cases was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force. The Task Force includes law enforcement from the counties of Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, Warren and Page as well as the cities and towns of Winchester, Front Royal and Strasburg, and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth G. Wright prosecuted the cases for the United States.

Local Jurisdictions Commit Funding for Substance Abuse Efforts

The impact of substance abuse on our region continues to be evident with 11 lives lost already this year to opiate overdoses. Local jurisdictions are committing funds to support the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition’s (NSVSAC) efforts associated with addiction. The Winchester City Council, Frederick County Board of Supervisors, Clarke County Board of Supervisors, and Valley Health have all designated funding in their budgets to support the efforts of the NSVSAC. This funding, which totals more than $200,000, will be used to support development of a drug court, promote peer counseling training, and assist with education, and treatment efforts. This partnership demonstrates our community’s dedication to saving lives lost and assisting those impacted by substance abuse.

The NSVSAC is an interdisciplinary group of citizens, joining law enforcement, health, judicial, social service and treatment professionals; all dedicated to address the heroin and opiate addiction crisis in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. As an example of activity already undertaken, the NSVSAC’s outreach committee has launched a rich website, www.roadtorecovery.info; started a family support group, Parents on the Road to Recovery; produced PSAs and video testimonials; and sponsored free community education programs with plans to host additional community sessions.

Thanks to the financial backing of our local leadership the NSVSAC is now positioned to continue to move forward to fill many of the treatment, education and prevention gaps that still exist in our area.

Two Shoplifting Suspects Arrested

The Winchester Police Department has identified two females caught on surveillance cameras stealing items from local stores. Officers were able to identify a female seen taking items from Sears in Apple Blossom Mall on April 30th as Allison Nicole Jennings, 21, of Winchester. Jennings was arrested just before 4 p.m. on June 17th in the 2400 block of Valley Avenue. She is charged with grand larceny, possession of heroin, and identity fraud. Jennings was taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.

Sears Shoplifting

Allison Nicole Jennings

Allison Nicole Jennings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officers were also able to identify a female who was captured on surveillance cameras stealing items at Kohl’s on May 12th. On Tuesday a grand jury indicted Emilia Hornbeak, 52, of White Post on a shoplifting charge. Hornbeak was arrested on June 18th in Clarke County. She was taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.

Kohls Shoplifting

Emilia Hornbeak

Emilia Hornbeak

Enrollment Increases at 14th Annual Kids & Cops Camp

Kids and Cops PicThe popularity of the Winchester Police Department’s Annual Kids and Cops Camp forced organizers to increase enrollment in the camp’s 14th year. This year more than 90 local children ages 9 – 12 will participate in the week-long camp. The activities will kick off on Monday, June 22nd. The children will have the opportunity to learn the importance of teamwork and have a positive experience with law enforcement officers in an exciting but disciplined environment. Campers will enjoy fieldtrips, dodgeball and kickball tournaments, and learn about the different aspects of policing.

Wednesday, June 24th is Community Service Day. The campers will hold a car wash in the parking lot of Shawnee Fire and Rescue. A portion of the proceeds from the car wash will benefit the ChildSafe Center – CAC. The Winchester Police Department works closely with the ChildSafe Center on child related crimes to protect children from being further traumatized during the process of an investigation and prosecution in a case. For the second consecutive year the campers will also hold a food drive on the Community Service Day. Non-perishable food items will be collected and donated to a local non-profit organization.

We invite members of the community to the car wash, bake sale, and to drop by non-perishable food items.

Suspect in Vandalism at Auto Park Caught on Camera

Court Square Autopark VandalismThe Winchester Police Department is investigating a vandalism that happened at Court Square Auto Park on South Cameron Street. On May 29th around 11 p.m. a male and female entered the auto park and the male is seen on surveillance footage bending the entrance/exit gate causing it to no longer operate.

Anyone who is able to provide information on the individuals in the pictures is encouraged to call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS. Individuals who are able to provide information that leads to an arrest in the case could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 and remember you can remain anonymous.

Help Police Identify Shoplifting Suspect

Belk Shoplifter 15017884The Winchester Police Department is investigating a shoplifting that happened on May 9th at Belk located at 1850 Apple Blossom Drive.  A male is seen on surveillance cameras around 7 p.m. taking two kitchen appliances and leaving the store without paying for them.  The total cost of the items is more than $400 dollars.

Anyone who is able to provide information on the suspect in the surveillance picture is encouraged to call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS. Individuals who are able to provide information that leads to an arrest in the case could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 and remember you can remain anonymous.

WPD Officers Want You to Buckle Up

SeatbeltWinchester Police Officers are out in full force ensuring motorists are buckling up. During the first week of the Click It or Ticket Campaign officers wrote 12 citations for seatbelt violations. Click It or Ticket is a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaign that aims to increase the use of seat belts. The Winchester Police Department participates in the campaign to ensure motorists are properly restrained, making them 40 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

Virginia law requires seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers 18 years of age and older, and all passengers younger than 18. The WPD strongly encourages all passengers in the car to buckle up whether they are in the front or back seats as regular seat belt use has proven to save lives.

During the first week of the enforcement effort 69 vehicles were stopped, nine speeding citations were issued, one citation for not having a license was written, and 45 other citations were issued.

Officers are also checking to ensure proper child restraint use. Virginia Law requires all children to be properly secured in a car seat or booster seat until at least age eight. There is no minimum weight or height limit associated with the law. It is recommended that children ages 8 to 12 years old be in a booster seat until they fit correctly in a seat belt. If you are a Virginia resident and are not able to afford a car seat or booster seat for your child, you may qualify for free assistance from the Virginia Department of Health. Call 1-800-732-8333 or visit safetyseatva.org to learn more.

Winchester Police Officers Receive Life-Saving Trauma Kits

Community Supporters Help Fund Project
Trauma KitsWinchester Police Officers now have additional tools that could help save lives. Thanks to support from the community the police department was able to purchase trauma kits. The kits will allow officers to administer life-saving medical aid in the event of a trauma prior to Fire and EMS personnel arriving on the scene. In emergencies, seconds can save a life.

The kits include tourniquets and other medical tools to stop trauma and bleeding. Officers are undergoing training on the equipment to allow them to use advanced tourniquets and compression bandages to stop bleeding and stabilize patients until paramedics arrive.

The kits are one of a number of efforts by the Winchester Police Department to prepare officers and the community to better respond in the event of an active shooter incident. Trauma kits have been used by officers across the nation to treat victims in mass trauma incidents including the shooting in Tucson that killed six and wounded 13, and the Boston Marathon bombing.

The trauma kits were made possible by generous donations from Christ Episcopal Church’s Outreach Committee and board members of the Winchester/Frederick County Law Enforcement Foundation.