By Alex Bridges -- email@example.com
WOODSTOCK -- A New York man caught with drugs during a traffic stop in October in Shenandoah County dropped a possible challenge to the arresting officer's search.
Randy D. Jenkins, 39, of Brooklyn, appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Wednesday to face one count each of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute oxymorphone. Jenkins faced receiving a maximum of 40 years in prison on each charge, according to Judge Dennis L. Hupp.
Jenkins pleaded guilty to both charges under an agreement reached between his lawyer, C. Todd Gilbert, and Commonwealth's Attorney Amanda Wiseley. The agreement called for Jenkins to receive six years in prison on each count with all time on one conviction suspended. The court then suspended all but two years and 10 months of the other prison term.
A Virginia state trooper working in the county Oct. 25 spotted a southbound gold Acura with Tennessee registration, driven by Jenkins, pass the 280 mile marker, Wiseley said. The car had tinted windows and an object dangling from the rear view mirror, she said. The trooper stopped the vehicle at about the 278 mile marker. The officer approached the car and saw a marijuana stem in the passenger side floorboard, Wiseley said.
Jenkins then consented to have the trooper search his vehicle, according to the prosecutor. The trooper found a Carnation creamer can with a false bottom in the trunk, she said.
"During the pat down ... the trooper felt something in the groin area that did not feel anatomically correct," Wiseley said.
The trooper later discovered Jenkins had two containers concealed in his pants filled with dozens of pills which tested positive for oxycodone and oxymorphone, according to the prosecutor.
While Gilbert said he agreed with the evidence offered by Wiseley, the defense attorney noted his client may have questioned whether the trooper had probable cause to search Jenkins during the stop. Gilbert said there could be an argument over whether the trooper had the constitutional right to escalate the search of his client.
Wiseley indicated she likely would argue the search fell within the bounds of the trooper's right because containers with false bottoms have been used to store illegal drugs. Gilbert argued that people use such containers to store personal items and valuables, not always drugs.
Jenkins must serve three years of supervised probation after his release from incarceration followed by two years of unsupervised probation.
Hupp accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Jenkins to its terms.