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Defendant accused in meth lab operation arrested

Shenandoah County authorities say they believe William Shoemaker's house at 13265 Old Valley Pike near Edinburg was the site of a meth laboratory earlier this year. Joe Beck/Daily (Buy photo)

By Joe Beck

WOODSTOCK -- Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office deputies Tuesday arrested the last of three men accused of involvement in a methamphetamine operation based in a home near Edinburg.

Lt. Tom Shelton said deputies arrested William Shoemaker, 40, of 13265 Old Valley Pike, on a traffic stop on Interstate 81 near Edinburg around 3:30 p.m.

Shelton said deputies took Shoemaker taken into custody without incident. He was on his way to the Shenandoah County jail as of late afternoon, Shelton said.

Shoemaker was indicted last week in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine and several related charge, including endangerment of a child who authorities say was in his custody while the drug was being produced.

Shoemaker was not in court and an order for his arrest was issued after the indictment.

Shoemaker's house was the target of a search warrant executed by authorities in early April. Shelton said the items seized included chemical precursors and other items related to the manufacture of methamphetamine. Authorities also obtained a substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine, Shelton said.

The search warrant affidavit states that a confidential informant bought methamphetamine at Shoemaker's home within 72 hours of the search warrant execution. The transaction was conducted under the supervision of agents from the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force, according to the affidavit.

The informant told the drug agents that he bought the methamphetamine from James Harold Lichliter, according to the affidavit.

Lichliter, of 4460 Alonzaville Road, Mauertown, and Jeremy Dysart, 34, of 1230 Headquarters Road, are co-defendants in the case, Shelton said.

Lichliter and Dysart were arrested earlier this year. Their cases, both of which involve a long list of drug-related charges, are pending.

Lichliter was also charged as a non-violent felon in possession of a gun.

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

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