New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | April 25, 2019

Woman selling imitation drugs to help incarcerated boyfriend hit with felony conviction

By Andre Jones | March 19, 2018 9:12 pm

Sometimes being in love makes a person do questionable things. For a Richmond woman, her commitment to a relationship placed a felony on her criminal record.

Darian Ivory McElfresh, 20, of the 2400 block of E. Franklin Street, entered a guilty plea to one count of possession of an imitation schedule I/II substance as part of a plea agreement reached Monday in New Kent Circuit Court.

In a summary of evidence provided by Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Linwood Gregory, on July 6, 2017, the Twin Rivers Task Force set up a potential drug buy with McElfresh. A confidential informant exchanged texts with the defendant, agreeing to meet at the Food Lion on Route 60 (Pocahontas Trail) in Quinton. The confidential informant paid the defendant $350 for what was thought to be cocaine. After the purchase, police officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle where McElfresh was a passenger and arrested her.

In custody, the defendant said the substance she sold was crushed iron pills and not cocaine, which was confirmed by lab tests. When asked why she was selling the fake drugs, she said she was trying to make money to bail her boyfriend out of jail. Officers told her that selling the fake substance still classified as a felony.

Under the agreement, all five years on McElfresh’s sentence was suspended.

In other Monday court cases in New Kent:

–Renee Darnice Gardner, 37, of the 4100 block of Townhouse Road, Apt. Q, Richmond, accepted a plea deal and entered a no contest plea to an amended charge of misdemeanor writing a bad check (originally bad check larceny). A no contest plea stipulates that evidence presented by the Commonwealth would be enough to convict her of the crime.

In a summary of evidence, on Aug. 31, 2017, the defendant entered into a lease agreement with Francisco Robinson and wrote a check. The check bounced with insufficient funds. Gardner attempted to write another check and said that BB&T was supposed to put funds into her account but didn’t. That second check also bounced, and the authorities launched an investigation and she was arrested.

Under the plea agreement, Gardner received a 12-month sentence with all time suspended. She must pay restitution in the amount of $3,900.

–Raymond Lee Loveland, 29, of the 300 block of Misoma Drive, Newport News, entered guilty pleas to two counts of grand larceny, one count of burglary, and one count to an amended charge of misdemeanor unauthorized use of a vehicle (originally authorized use of a vehicle) as part of a plea deal. Two charges of intent to sell stolen property were dropped.

In a summary on evidence, Loveland was fired as an employee from Curtis Contracting on June 5. On June 6, he returned to the premises and stole tools from one of the sheds. On July 4, the defendant returned once again, this time driving one of the work vehicles to an isolated area on the property and parking it. From there, he stole tools from the truck.

An investigation was launched, with employees and supervisors from Curtis Contracting being able to identify Loveland by the way he carried himself. After being taken into custody, the defendant confessed to the crimes and said it was out of his character.

Under the plea agreement, he received a 20-year suspended sentence on each of his three felony charges. All 12 months on his misdemeanor charge were also suspended, but the defendant must pay $8,415 in restitution.

–Kevin Martinez-Martinez, 23, of the 900 block of Mildred Street Norfolk, entered guilty pleas to possession of cocaine and misdemeanor DUI (second offense) as part of a plea agreement. One charge each of misdemeanor reckless driving by speed and drinking while driving were dropped.

In a summary of evidence, a Virginia State Trooper conducting radar on westbound traffic on Interstate 64 on Oct. 7, 2017 when a vehicle was clocked going 95 miles per hour in a posted 70 mile per hour zone. The trooper conducted a traffic stop and observed signs of intoxication when he began to speak to the driver, identified as Martinez-Martinez. The defendant failed the field sobriety test and was placed in custody. A search of his vehicle yielded the recovery of a small amount of cocaine. A toxicology report showed the defendant’s BAC of .011, nearly one-and-a-half times the legal limit.

Under the plea agreement, Martinez-Martinez received a five-year sentence with all time suspended on the possession of cocaine charge. He will serve two months on the DUI (second offense) conviction, with the other 10 months suspended. He must pay a fine of $1,000, with $500 of that amount suspended.

–Chaka Charmaine Otey, 36, of the 8000 block of Airport Road, Quinton, was sentenced to reduce charges of misdemeanor obtaining money by false pretenses (originally obtaining money by false pretenses), and misdemeanor issuing a bad check (originally forgery) as part of formal sentencing.

During a May 23, 2017 trial, Otey entered straight guilty pleas to the original charges in which she tried to open an account with a forged check. The defendant began withdrawing funds from that account was credited and when discovered, she told the bank that she was going to pay it back but never did.

Charges were reduced after Otey completely repaid the $1,716.76 she owed to C&F Bank.

–Kai Pan, 35, of the 2000 block of West Broad Street, Richmond, received formal sentencing to one count each of forgery of a public record, identity theft (second or subsequent offense), and uttering.

During a Jan. 22 trial, Pan entered not guilty pleas to the crimes but stipulated the evidence would be enough to convict him of the offenses. At that trial, evidence showed that on Aug. 3, 2017, Pan gave a false name to a state trooper after being pulled over and signed a summons with a fake name after being forewarned of the consequences. After signing the name of an acquaintance, he was subsequently arrested. A criminal background check showed that he had committed identity theft in the past.

On each of the three charges, Pan received a five-year jail sentence with all time suspended on each of the charges.

An Alford plea of guilt was reached in a case involving sex crimes with a minor that went to trial on Mar. 14 in New Kent Circuit Court.

Kenneth Shawn McCumber, 20, of the 9300 block of New Kent Highway, entered Alford pleas to two amended charges of misdemeanor sexual battery (originally aggravated sexual battery) as part of negotiations reached before a previously scheduled jury trial. One charge each of sexual penetration with an object to a person less than 13 years of age and sexual penetration with an object by force was dropped. An Alford plea of guilt means that while the defendant maintains his innocence, evidence presented would be enough to convict him of a crime.

According to evidence, McCumber conducted sexual acts with the victim. Under the plea deal, he was sentenced to 12 months in jail with six months suspended (six to serve) on the first count of misdemeanor battery. All 12 months on the second charge was suspended.