Strasburg chase defendant indicted

By Joe Beck

Federal authorities indicted a Woodstock man Wednesday in U.S. District Court after an investigation linking him to the sale of heroin and cocaine, illegal transport of a gun and a vehicle chase through Strasburg in late March.

The indictments against Devon Renard Gray, 42, of 447 Water St., included five counts of sale and distribution of heroin, two counts of sale and distribution of cocaine and one count of unlawful transport of guns.

Members of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force arrested Gray on April 5, less than two weeks after authorities say he led a Middletown police officer in a chase through Strasburg that ended with the officer destroying his squad car in a crash.

Court documents in Frederick County General District Court state that the chase reached speeds up to 90 mph.

An affidavit filed in federal court by special agent William Metcalf of the U.S. Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives accuses Gray of selling heroin and cocaine in the months before the chase and of attempting to buy guns illegally on the day of his arrest.

The affidavit states that a confidential informant introduced Gray to Metcalf, who was working undercover, on April 5 at an undisclosed location. Metcalf showed Gray five guns, four pistols and a revolver, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states: “Gray described the preferred firearms as a .380, 9 mm, .40 and .45 caliber pistols. Gray then selected the Glock 9 mm pistol . . . and stated he wanted a pistol that was incognito (small) with power behind it.”

Gray was arrested without incident after he took the gun and placed it in his waistband, according to the affidavit.

After his arrest, Sgt. Kevin Coffman of the drug task force said Gray told him that he was “a convicted felon and fugitive wanted by law enforcement for eluding police, driving suspended and grand theft auto due to the Middletown police pursuit,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states Gray said he wanted the gun to trade for heroin, a drug he admitted to selling. He did not admit to selling cocaine, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states that an ATF expert traced the Glock in Gray’s possession at the time of his arrest to a manufacturer in Georgia and that the gun “traveled interstate” before Gray acquired it.

The affidavit describes Gray as a “five-time convicted violent felon and armed career criminal and lists convictions for assault on a police officer in Florida in 1996; sale of a controlled substance in Florida in 1998; resisting arrest with violence in Florida in 2000; and a drug offense and probation violation, both in Virginia since 2006.

Gray is also facing several state charges in Frederick and Shenandoah counties related to the chase through Strasburg.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com