Two plead guilty in Warren County drug cases

FRONT ROYAL — In two separate drug cases involving confidential informants, two men pleaded guilty on Monday to drug distribution charges as part of their respective plea agreements.

Joshua Peck, 28, of Front Royal, pleaded guilty to methadone distribution after he sold four pills to a confidential informant in May 2015. Peck was sentenced to five years imprisonment, and all of that time will be suspended if he is accepted into the Community Corrections Alternative Program, which aims to help reform non-violent offenders who need more than probation but less than incarceration, the Virginia Department of Corrections states on its website.

If Peck is not accepted into the program, he must serve nine months of his five-year sentence. Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp wants to review the status of Peck’s admittance to the program on July 11, the next day the judge will preside over Warren County Circuit Court proceedings.

Michael Beaty, 29, also of Front Royal, pleaded guilty to two heroin distribution charges after he sold the drug on two separate occasions to a confidential informant in September 2016. Beaty is already serving one year of a two-year sentence on shoplifting charges from a July 2016 incident.

The plea agreement called for Beaty to be given a five-year sentence on each heroin distribution charge, for a total of 10 years, with all but one year of that time suspended and to run consecutively with the shoplifting sentence he pleaded guilty to in October 2016.

Because the heroin distribution charges came days before Beaty would have been eligible for work release, Hupp authorized work release during Beaty’s incarceration and waived any waiting period Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail would normally impose on new offenders.