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Heroin possession nets man five-year term



By Linwood Outlaw III-loutlaw@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- A Harrisonburg man has admitted that he was carrying illegal drugs when police conducted a traffic stop in April.

Knowledge Aziz Zahir, 40, of 1423 Mount Clinton Pike, pleaded guilty in Warren County Circuit Court on Tuesday to one count of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute on April 30 after having previously been convicted of two or more such offenses. Zahir was indicted in September. Authorities said he was initially charged after a Warren County sheriff's deputy who was patrolling Interstate 66 stopped Zahir's vehicle because it was apparently weaving between lanes.

Police requested K-9 assistance and performed an exterior search of Zahir's car. Police say they found nine "watch baggies" containing a brown powdery substance and a Ziploc bag containing a similar substance. The substance tested positive as heroin, police said.

Zahir was sentenced Tuesday to a total of 20 years in the state penitentiary, but 15 years were suspended from the term, according to online court records. Zahir also must serve three years supervised probation upon release and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. His driver's license also was suspended for six months.

In other recent court matters:

• Janet Leigh Collins, 47, of 835 Steed Lane, Front Royal, pleaded guilty on Oct. 4 to one count of misdemeanor embezzlement sometime between Oct. 16 and Nov. 13, 2008. Collins was initially indicted in December on one felony count of fraudulently embezzling public funds associated with the operation of the Virginia Lottery, but prosecutors agreed to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. Collins was sentenced to 12 months, all suspended, in jail and must serve 12 months of unsupervised probation, according to online court records.

• Lisa F. Spiker, 35, of 115 James St., Front Royal, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment on Oct. 5 to two counts of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer on Aug. 12. Spiker was indicted on the charges in September. Spiker will have a bench trial on Dec. 14.

• Loretta Lynn Embrey, 36, of 112 E. Main St., Front Royal, pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to one count of grand larceny on June 27. She was sentenced to two years, all suspended, in prison and must serve a year of supervised probation, according to court records. Embrey also was ordered to pay $388.49 in restitution.




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