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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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Store owner sentenced in bath salts drug case

wo Woodstock men were sentenced Wednesday to one year in prison each for their roles in what authorities called one of the largest drug busts in Shenandoah County history at the time of their arrests in 2012.
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Stephens City man accused of illegal cigarette sales

A Frederick County grand jury has indicted a Stephens City man on10 counts of crimes connected to the illegal sale of cigarettes in his store.
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Woman pleads guilty in drug scheme

A town resident pleaded guilty Tuesday in Warren County Circuit Court to three offenses linked to an attempt to slip a prescription drug to her son as he coped with the effects of heroin withdrawal while he was in jail.
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Strasburg couple faces pot charges

A Shenandoah County grand jury has indicted a Strasburg couple on a total of 80 charges linked to what authorities believe was a marijuana distribution operation at their residence of 85 Ellen Drive.
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Police cruisers damaged in chase

A Woodstock man was charged with two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer and several related offenses after a chase on Interstate 81 Sunday night that authorities say reached speeds of 120 mph.
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Teen accused of stealing police car

Authorities say a 15-year-old boy from Tennessee stole a Frederick County police cruiser while handcuffed and led them on a chase of several miles before crashing and damaging two other police cars Friday morning.
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Diversion Center slated to shutter

The White Post Men's Diversion Center is among three state Department of Corrections facilities to be closed under executive branch cost cutting plans announced by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
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Judge dismisses lawsuit against police, city

A federal judge in Martinsburg, West Virginia, has dismissed a lawsuit filed by relatives of a former Stephens City resident who was shot to death during a confrontation with Martinsburg police in 2013.
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Rain turns area roads treacherous

Heavy rains Wednesday morning contributed to several crashes that clogged traffic on area interstates and secondary roads.
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Shooting defendant prevails on bail appeal

A Woodstock man accused of shooting another man may be released from jail after Circuit Court Judge Dennis L. Hupp rejected an appeal from the prosecution Wednesday that the defendant remain held without bail.
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Perryman sentenced in Strasburg theater scheme

Richard Perryman, whose promise to revive the Strasburg Home Theater turned out to be a costly illusion for a Warrenton couple, was sentenced Tuesday to one year in prison on a charge of obtaining money by false pretenses.
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Republicans, Democrats cut ad buys in 10th District

Decisions by the Democratic and Republican national congressional committees late last week to cut ad spending sharply in the 10th Congressional District jolted the campaigns of Del. Barbara Comstock, R-McLean, and Democrat John Foust, but the two sides differed on what it means for their chances of winning.
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Sheriff's Office warns of telephone fraud scheme

The Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fraud case in which someone bilked a local resident out of thousands of dollars by identifying himself as a representative of the Sheriff's Office.
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Jury deciding firefighters' case for free speech

A federal jury began deliberations Thursday in a lawsuit filed by two former members of the Front Royal Volunteer Fire Department who accuse the department and its former board president of defaming them and violating their rights of free speech.
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Political outlook: more gridlock

Larry Sabato, the highly visible political pundit from the University of Virginia, brought a mixed message Wednesday for Democrats and Republicans pondering elections in 2014 and beyond.
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Fire company, ex-members clash

After hearing three days of testimony and arguments in a jury trial pitting two former Front Royal firefighters against their former fire company and former president, U.S. District Judge Michael F. Urbanski summarized the case Wednesday for the opposing sides.
| 1

Man faces credit card theft charges

An Alexandria man was in custody Tuesday evening after law enforcement officers from Woodstock and the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office stopped him on Interstate 81 and charged him with two credit card-related offenses.
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Student brings BB gun onto bus

The Warren County Sheriff's Office is investigating a report of a Warren County Middle School student brandishing a BB pistol around another student on school bus No. 41 Tuesday.
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Same sex couples now free to marry in Virginia

Separate actions by the U.S. Supreme Court and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring Monday cleared the last obstacles to same sex couples marrying in Virginia.
| 7

Crash kills driver, injures passenger on I-66 Monday

A single vehicle crash Monday on Interstate 66 in Warren County took the life of a West Virginia man and injured a passenger in his vehicle.
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Defendant in shooting ordered held without bail

A local man accused of shooting another man was ordered back to the RSW Regional Jail and held without bond after an initial appearance Monday in Shenandoah County General District Court.
| 1

Woodstock man charged in shooting

A Woodstock man was arrested and charged late Friday in a shooting that left the victim with life-threatening injuries.
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Cigarettes cited as likely cause of two area fires

Two major spring fires, one of them fatal, appear to have been caused by careless use of cigarettes, Shenandoah County Fire Marshal David Ferguson said Friday.
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Fire dept. event promoting safe techniques, prevention

The Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services is focusing on home fire safety as it prepares for the 7th Annual Fire Prevention Kick-Off from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday at the Front Royal Volunteer Fire Department, 221 North Commerce Ave.
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Foresters wary of fall fire risk

Fall wildlife fire season arrived Wednesday accompanied by warnings from the Virginia Department of Forestry about the risks of burning trash and yard debris at this time of year.
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Man sentenced for role in heroin overdose deaths

A Winchester man who provided heroin that led to fatal overdoses for his father and his father's girlfriend was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg to 14 years in prison.
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Lawmakers hear ideas for curbing heroin

Local law enforcement officials, prosecutors and others turned to state lawmakers Wednesday in urging legislative action to help stem the tide of heroin flowing into the area.
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Tracking device helps nab poachers

Law enforcement officials used new technology in a painstaking investigation that led to more than a hundred hunting and wildlife violations against three men, two of whom must pay hundreds of dollars in fines and other costs after their sentencings.
| 3

Pastor's wife given 10 days in child molestation case

The wife of a former area pastor has been sentenced in Page County Circuit Court to 10 days in jail in a child molestation case in which her husband was sentenced to six years in prison.
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Red-carpet treatment

The red The red carpet in Beverly Hills has been rolled up and Kota, the police dog from Winchester, no longer has his name up in lights after the American Humane Association Hero Dog award ceremony Saturday night.
| 14

Parent questions authorities' response to school weapons case

The school year got off to a jarring start for Tina Tanner's son when another boy allegedly pulled a gun on him in a restroom at Skyline High School.
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Three arrested after heroin overdose

A heroin overdose in Mauertown on Wednesday led to the arrests of two women and one man on drug-related charges.
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Comstock, Wolf campaign together in Winchester

The Frederick County Republican Party opened the doors to its 2014 campaign headquarters at 17 W. Boscawen St. Thursday with a rally focused on electing Del. Barbara Comstock to Congress.
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Man sentenced after escaping arrest with three-story leap

A South Carolina man who jumped out of a three-story window while escaping from a police officer was sentenced to three months in jail Tuesday in Warren County Circuit Court after the defendant was returned from his home state.
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Man sentenced to six years in prison

Eric Lamont Garris stabbed his girlfriend several times in the early morning hours of Feb. 16, then drove her to Warren Memorial Hospital and waited for police to arrive and arrest him.
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Low flying plane was seeding fields by air

The sight of a plane flying low in the air over Shenandoah County last week rattled some nerves, but it turned out there was no reason for anyone to worry.
| 1

Senate hopefuls stump at Hob Nob

MIDDLETOWN -- Barbecue dinners, political speeches and a straw poll formed the main attractions for slightly more than 400 people who attended the 15th annual Hob Nob in the Valley Friday at Lord Fairfax Community College.
| 2

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.
| 1

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.
| 1

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.
| 2

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.
| 0

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.
| 3

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.
| 1

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.
| 2

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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