Front Royal man nabbed in area heroin crackdown

By Alex Bridges

A Front Royal man remains in jail on numerous drug and gun charges after his arrest in a large-scale operation this week.

Ronnie Maurice Jones, 36, of Front Royal, is being held without bond in Warren County Jail on charges of manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a firearm with drugs, possession of a gun by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, according to online court records.

Authorities arrested him on Wednesday and a magistrate recommended Jones remain held at the jail without bond, Front Royal police Sgt. Kevin Coffman said Friday.

Jones appeared in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Friday morning for a bail hearing. Judge William Sharp ordered Jones to remain in jail without bond. The judge appointed Eric Wiseley to represent Jones. A clerk said Jones is scheduled to appear in Warren County General District Court on Tuesday.

Officers initially charged Jones with distribution of heroin, according to a press release from the Front Royal Police Department. The arrest led investigators to execute four search warrants in Front Royal and Shenandoah and Prince William counties. Authorities seized large amounts of heroin, crack cocaine, firearms and an undisclosed amount of cash, the release states.

The large-scale operation commenced Wednesday and, over the next 24 hours, involved officers with several law enforcement agencies, Coffman said.

Coffman said Jones’ case could end up in federal court.

Agents arrested three or four other suspects but Coffman didn’t have information on the other individuals. Each group handled different cases across the wide focus area. Coffman said the ongoing investigation likely could result in the arrests of more suspects.

The Northwestern Virginia Regional Drug Task Force joint operation consisted of teams from Front Royal and Warren County, Shenandoah and Page counties, the RUSH Task Force that includes agents from Harrisonburg, Rockingham County and Virginia State Police, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com