Police conduct seizure at stores

By Joe Beck

WOODSTOCK — Authorities in Shenandoah County executed search warrants in late August at five convenience stores and seized thousands of items that law enforcement officials believe to be connected to the illegal drug trade.

Search warrant documents filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court identify the stores as: Gail’s General Store, 18880 Old Valley Pike, Woodstock; The Country Store; 19873 Senedo Road, Edinburg; Short Stop Convenience Store and Short Stop Market, 146 W. Old Cross Road, New Market; Page Valley Tobacco II, 185 E. Lee Highway, New Market; and The Family Convenience Store, 401 Stony Creek Boulevard, Edinburg.

The search warrant affidavits list glass, stone, plastic or ceramic pipes, sifters, grinders, and documents such as order forms, sales receipts and catalogs used for the purchase or sale of such items among the items sought by law enforcement. The items are designed for “ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hashish or hashish oil into the human body,” according to each of the search warrant documents.

The search warrants were obtained in relation to a state law banning possession and sale of drug paraphernalia.

At The Family Convenience Store, law enforcement officials seized 1,011 smoking devices, 52 grinders, 19 sets of scales, 35 packs of screens, and 15 packs of bags, according to the search warrant inventory. The inventory for Gail’s General Store included 957 smoking devices, 54 grinders and 348 packs of screens, 14 hidden containers and 81 packs of bags.

The other stores contained lesser, but still significant amounts of the same kinds of items, according to their inventory lists.

Investigator D.P. Mason visited some of the stores as early as July 1 and bought suspected drug paraphernalia from four of them from Aug. 14 to Aug. 22, according to affidavits filed with the search warrants. A confidential informant using money from the Virginia State Police made a purchase at a fifth store, according to the affidavit.

One affidavit describes Mason’s visit to Page Valley Tobacco II on Aug. 22: “While in the store, Investigator Mason purchased a glass smoking device and a box of Quick Fix Plus for $48.75 of (Virginia State Police) funds. Quick Fix Plus is synthetic urine to help pass a urine test. Also, while in the store, two unknown persons purchased a glass smoking device.”

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