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Joe Beck

Beck_JosephP_8_11.jpg Joe Beck is a senior reporter for the Northern Virginia Daily. He reports on crime, public safety and courts news.
E-mail: jbeck@nvdaily.com | Phone: 540-465-5317, ext.142

Recent stories by Joe Beck

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Motorist helps stricken snake bite victim

The man lying on the ground in a parking pull-off on Remount Road looked like he was in trouble when Sharyn Doffermire of Front Royal drove past him at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
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Jail board tackles too pure rainwater issue

The Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren Regional Jail Authority Thursday approved a fix for an unlikely problem: rainwater collected on the roof of the building is too pure.
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Three area residents sentenced in heroin cases

HARRISONBURG -- Law enforcement's spotlight shone harshly Wednesday in U.S. District Court as one Stephens City man and a couple from Strasburg were sentenced to long stays in prison for using and selling heroin in the area.
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Heroin overdose deaths surge past total for 2013

WOODSTOCK -- The number of deaths in the area attributed to heroin overdoses this year has exceeded the total for 2013, law enforcement officials told the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
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Vandalism blamed on fortuneteller dispute

Front Royal police are investigating vandalism against two storefronts Sunday night or Monday morning, a crime that both store operators are blaming on a bitter dispute over the town's fortunetelling ordinance.
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Victim hopes for bear's survival

Steven Krichbaum is a survivor, bloodied but unbowed by a bear attack Thursday that forced him to spend several days in Winchester Medical Center.
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Ten arrested, charged in two drug busts

Law enforcement officials in Shenandoah and Warren counties rounded up a total of 10 people Thursday and Friday in two separate drug busts involving possession of heroin and other drugs.
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State official: Bear will be put down if captured

The bear that attacked a man in Hardy County, West Virginia will be put down if game managers can trap it, a state expert on black bears said Friday.
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Bear attack wounds man, his dog

A bear attack Thursday sent a man visiting the George Washington National Forest to Winchester Medical Center with serious wounds.
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Military transfer program helps equip local law enforcement

Law enforcement agencies in Shenandoah, Warren and Frederick counties have been among many across the nation that have acquired surplus military equipment through a controversial Department of Defense program.
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Former theater owner pleads guilty to bilking couple

A former owner of the Strasburg Home Theater has pleaded guilty in Fauquier County to obtaining money by false pretenses in a scheme connected to his efforts to buy the theater.
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Foust talks education, immigration, job creation

WINCHESTER -- John Foust, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 10th District, spent about an hour Monday fielding questions on topics ranging from immigration to U.S. foreign policy and economic development.
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Search warrant executed at residence familar to police

Strasburg police executed a search warrant Aug. 7 at a residence identified in court documents as the scene of five police or emergency rescue squad dispatches involving drug or bath salts use in the last year.
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Shooting simulator trains Front Royal police for real life threats

FRONT ROYAL -- No decision a police officer makes is fraught with more life and death consequences than the moment when he must choose to fire or not fire a gun aimed at a suspect.
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Police set to launch drunk driving crackdown

Front Royal police will begin a crackdown on drunk drivers Friday as part of the nationwide "Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over" campaign that is scheduled to last through Labor Day.
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Attorney files sealed documents in cigarette smuggling case

A new batch of documents in a cigarette smuggling case could be closed to the public under a sealed motion filed by a defense attorney on behalf of two defendants facing a combined total of 50 charges.
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Charges filed against victim in assault case

WOODSTOCK -- A preliminary hearing scheduled for two co-defendants accused of seriously injuring a man at his Strasburg residence was postponed Monday in Shenandoah County General District Court after it was disclosed that charges had been filed against the victim.
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Ex-SAAA director gets probation, home confinement

Years of financial scandal at the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging came to an end Friday with the sentencing of former executive director Helen Cockrell to six years probation and three months of home confinement.
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Gillespie's Senate campaign zeroing in on economy

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie said Thursday a five-point plan at the center of his campaign offers more hope for spurring the state's economy than what he described as failed policies supported by his opponent, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, and President Obama.
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Hearing sheds light on cigarette case

The Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office piled on dozens of charges without justification against two New York City men in an undercover anti-cigarette smuggling operation involving transactions totaling $10 million, the attorney for the two defendants said Wednesday in circuit court.
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Man sentenced to 11 years in prison in child molesting case

FRONT ROYAL - A 30-year-old town resident convicted of sexual penetration of a minor less than 13 years old was sentenced to 11 years in prison and lifetime probation Monday in Warren County Circuit Court.
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Authorities link shooting case defendant to homicide

WINCHESTER -- An autopsy performed on James Trenary after he was found dead in his Stephens City townhouse Sunday confirmed that he died of a gunshot wound, the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said Monday.
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Prosecution seeks to close cigarette trafficking hearing

The prosecution in a cigarette trafficking case is planning to propose an order that the next courtroom hearing scheduled for Aug. 6 in Shenandoah County Circuit Court be closed to the press and the rest of the public.
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More indictments issued in cigarette smuggling cases

Law enforcement's efforts to crack down on the smuggling of cigarettes from Virginia to other states continued Wednesday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court with the grand jury indictments of three more men from other states.
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Two more men facing cigarette trafficking charges

Two Brooklyn, N.Y. men appeared in Shenandoah County General District Court Friday, both on charges of selling, transporting, receiving or possessing 500 or more packages of improperly stamped cigarettes for the purposes of evading taxes on them.
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Smuggling cases bring in big money

A trio of hearings Thursday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court provided a glimpse of the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office's participation in a series of vast but little known undercover operations targeting black market cigarette transactions along much of the East Coast.
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Three cigarette smuggling cases emerge in court

WOODSTOCK -- Hearings in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Thursday on three cases involving defendants facing a long list of charges linked to cigarette smuggling shed new light on an extensive investigation mounted by the county Sheriff's Office against illicit cigarette sales.
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Man pleads guilty to two sex offenses in police online sting

A Woodstock man accused of soliciting sex with a boy online who turned out to be a police investigator was convicted and sentenced Wednesday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.
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Judge rejects sleepwalking defense in domestic violence case

Marvin Lee Markley claimed in Shenandoah County Circuit Court Wednesday that he was sleepwalking when he broke his girlfriend's nose and ribs, but his unusual defense wasn't enough to prevent him from being convicted of unlawful wounding and domestic assault and battery.
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Defendant contests charges after videotaping police while armed

Andrew Charles Studds insists he wasn't doing anything wrong when he videotaped Front Royal police while carrying a holstered gun on his right hip as they conducted traffic stops a few weeks ago.
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Excessive force cited as reason for officer's dismissal

Former Strasburg police officer Aaron H. Lewis lost his job over accusations that he used excessive force against a suspect in a drug case, falsification of records and violation of safety rules without a threat to life, according to documents in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.
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Billboards depicting fiery crash ask for Jeep Cherokee recall

Jenelle Embrey shows no sign of letting up on her efforts to get the federal government to recall some Jeep Cherokees, and she is paying for a trio of billboards to prove it.
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Three sentenced for roles in Winchester crack dealing ring

A man described in court documents as the leader and enforcer of an extensive crack cocaine ring in Winchester was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court to life imprisonment.
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Progress 2013: New technology aids public safety workers

The gunshots that took the life of a Woodstock man as he struggled with law enforcement officers on the night of July 20 proved to be an unlikely catalyst for technological change among several police agencies in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.
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Keyser recalled as 'old southern sheriff'

Former Warren County Sheriff Gary Turner Keyser, remembered by colleagues as one of the last of the old-time small town sheriffs, died Saturday at Blue Ridge Hospice Inpatient Care Center in Winchester.










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