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*Thomson pleads guilty to drug, tampering charges

Paul Thomson
Paul Thomson walks into federal court in Harrisonburg on Wednesday March 30. Daily Staff Photo (Buy photo)

By Preston Knight -- pknight@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- Former Winchester commonwealth's attorney Paul Thomson pleaded guilty to five drug and witness and evidence tampering charges Monday morning in U.S. District Court.

A plea agreement struck between the U.S. government and Thomson's defense Sunday afternoon called for him to plead to the five charges, which include possession of cocaine, and be sentenced to serve three years and two months in prison. After the pleas were made Monday, Judge John P. Jones accepted the deal, pending a sentencing hearing Sept. 26.

Thomson, 56 and now a city defense attorney, could have had a lighter sentence had he been more cooperative in the early stages of the investigation this year, U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy said outside of the courthouse. A five-day trial had been scheduled to begin Monday.

"I have made an agreement to pay my debt to society so I can fully recover and help my wife, Anna, to raise our three young boys," Thomson said in a prepared statement.

He remains free on bond until his sentencing date.

For further developments, visit nvdaily.com or read the print edition of The Northern Virginia Daily.

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