On June 15, 2016, a judge in Harrisonburg, VA sentenced Warren Evans, Jr. to 31 years in Federal Prison for his role in a drug-trafficking ring in the Winchester area. Evans, along with Christopher Giles, conspired to distribute more than 1,000 grams of heroin, and 280 grams cocaine from Baltimore, MD, to the Winchester area, between February 2013 and October 2014. The heroin they sold caused six people to overdose, three of whom died.
After the sentencing, John Fishwick, Jr., United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, commended the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force for their work to combat the heroin epidemic. The ‘Winchester Model’ attacks big-time drug traffickers, and has proven to be successful in investigating and prosecuting cases. The Task Force includes the Virginia State Police, Drug Enforcement Administration, Winchester Police Department, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office. The team works closely with overdose victims and medical providers, with the goal of slowing the flow of heroin into our communities.
“We are very lucky here in the Western District of Virginia to have forward thinking law enforcement partners who have been the tip-of-the-spear, in regards to combating this very complex issue” Fishwick said. “The partnership formed by the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force has really taken the lead on this cause, and combined law enforcement with community education, treatment programs, and prevention options.”
Fishwick and Winchester Police Department Chief, Kevin Sanzenbacher, shared a stern message for drug distributors. “Dealers should be on notice: if you distribute heroin in our area, we will come after you. We will use all resources available to catch you, and you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Sazenbacher said.
Drug overdoses are blamed for 12 deaths in the Northern Shenandoah Valley since the start of 2016.