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Man accused of dealing meth in custody

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

Authorities accuse a former Woodstock man of dealing methamphetamines in Shenandoah and Page counties over a year beginning in March 2011.

Jose Payan, 41, remains in federal custody on a charge of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine from his homes in Woodstock and then in Page County. Payan's first appearance in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg is scheduled for Thursday before Magistrate Judge James G. Welsh.

Payan has not yet been indicted on any charges related to the case.

Sgt. Jason Clark, an agent with the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg on Monday. Clark states in the complaint that in March 2011 a source provided information that a Hispanic male, in the country illegally, was selling methamphetamine in Shenandoah County. Clark met with a second source in July 2011 who told the investigator a Hispanic male named "Jose" lived on Lupton Road in Shenandoah County was selling large quantities of methamphetamine, the complaint states.

In September, Clark interviewed a third person who admitted to using the drug and identified the source of the methamphetamine as Jose Payan, according to the complaint. Clark states the source said Payan lived in Woodstock and two of them met while incarcerated in the same correctional facility.

The third person, in cooperation with Clark, made three controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Payan in early 2012 with Payan's understanding the informant would resell the drugs, according to the complaint. The source bought approximately 12 ounces of methamphetamine from Payan at $1,600 per ounce, Clark states.

Clark and other agents with the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at the home of Gerald Keith Lutz in Woodstock on March 21, according to the complaint. Agents recovered 3/4 of an ounce of methamphetamine, marijuana, Ecstacy pills, two firearms, PCP and packaging material associated with the sale or distribution of narcotics, the complaint states.

In a subsequent interview of Lutz, he stated to Clark that he was buying methamphetamine from Jose and Sheila Payan, according to the complaint. Lutz said he bought three to four ounces of the drug from Jose and Sheila Payan every two to three weeks for the past year, according to Clark. Lutz told agents that approximately three to four months prior to the search of his home the Payans moved to Page County, Clark states. Lutz told agents he made two methamphetamine purchases from the Payans since they moved, the complaint states.

Lutz has not been charged with any offense related to the search of his home, according to online records for state or federal courts.

Clark obtained a search warrant for the Payans residence in Page County on March 25. As a result of the search agents recovered methamphetamine and narcotics paraphernalia, according to the complaint.

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