Man attempting to assist police ends up guilty on drug possession charge
A Quinton man who attempted to assist authorities with a drug bust now faces possible jail time after being convicted on a possession of heroin charge.
Samuel Patrick Nye, 34, of the 6400 block of Hickory Road, was convicted during Monday morning’s contested trial in New Kent Circuit Court.
On Apr. 5 of this year, Nye had agreed to work with police to set up a drug buy with a target in Mechanicsville. Nye met with Cpt. J. Joseph McLaughlin III to go over the details of the buy. As part of police procedure, the defendant entered into a written agreement with authorities, allowing them to search him and his vehicle.
McLaughlin searched Nye’s SUV and discovered a pill bottle on the driver’s side door. Inside the pill bottle were several small baggies that contained residue on it and a cut straw.
“I knew that these items were consistent with drug usage,” testified McLaughlin. “When I questioned him about the baggies, he told me that most probably would have marijuana and some may have heroin.”
McLaughlin also testified that Nye informed him that he provided rides to fellow coworkers and the drugs could have been there.
Irving Underwood, Nye’s current employer, implicated the defendant could be telling the truth after his dismissal of Adam Clements, a former employee.
“I had to fire Clements because I knew he was on drugs,” testified Underwood. “I gave him opportunities to get clean but he never did.”
Clements and Nye’s brother, Joseph, said vehicles were often shared by employees to drive to and from work sites and to go get lunch. The defendant testified, saying that he drove to sites with his personal vehicle because of tasks to do afterwards.
Nye provided his version of his encounter with McLaughlin on Apr. 5.
“I told him I didn’t know it was in the car and if it was, I would have gotten rid of it because it was trash,” the defendant said. “When I was asked about it I told him that the baggies could have been from Clements because he use to drive my car on the site.”
After both sides of the case were heard, Judge B. Elliott Bondurant pointed to background information provided from McLaughlin’s initial search of the defendant’s vehicle.
“The officer said that the vehicle was registered in the defendant’s name,” the judge commented. “There was a red straw in the bottle that had heroin residue on it and the defendant said in his own words that he used that straw in the past for sniffing medication that was prescribed to him by his doctor.
“But the one thing that has been made clear to me that there was no evidence of Adam Clements using heroin in the vehicle and no testimony on him having symptoms while he was in the vehicle,” Bondurant added. “Mr. Nye knew there was a controlled substance in the pill bottle and he told the captain that. I find him guilty on the charge.”
Nye’s formal sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 22.
In an unrelated case, a Williamsburg man will serve two years in jail after entering into a plea agreement.
Brian Eugene Moore, 46, of the 200 block of Peach Street, entered guilty pleas to one count each of driving after being declared a habitual offended (second or subsequent offense) and an amended charge of misdemeanor driving under the influence (second offense- originally driving under the influence after a prior felony conviction). A charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle was dropped as part of the deal.
In a summary of evidence, on July 2, a Virginia State Trooper pulled over Moore for speeding on Interstate 64 in New Kent. After initiating the stop, Moore handed the officer an identification badge and admitted he did not have a license. After detecting the scent of alcohol and noticing Moore’s behavior, the officer offered the defendant a sobriety test, which he refused. The trooper arrested Moore on suspicion of DUI and after a background check, discovered that he had been declared a habitual offender.
Under the agreement, Moore was sentenced to five years in jail with three suspended (two to serve) on driving after being declared a habitual offender. He will serve 20 days in jail and pay a $500 fine on the misdemeanor DUI conviction.