Edinburg man pleads guilty to long list of drug charges

Joshua Aaron Riffey

WOODSTOCK — An Edinburg man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to several drug charges stemming from multiple incidents, including a February 2016 methamphetamine bust at his home.

Joshua Aaron Riffey, 35, was sentenced to serve one year and 11 months of a 32-year sentence as part of the agreement, which Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp noted was in line with the sentencing guidelines in the case.

Riffey was one of two arrested in a methamphetamine lab bust at the home he shared with Becky Ann Pirkheim, who was also charged. Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley said during the hearing that authorities found evidence of “freshly cooked” methamphetamine,  including sludge pots, stripped lithium batteries and cold packs that were easily accessible to the 8 and 10-year-old boys who were living at the residence.

Riffey pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment and one count of methamphetamine manufacturing as part of the plea agreement.

Riffey also entered an Alford plea of guilty to another count of methamphetamine manufacturing. The charge stemmed from a March 2016 incident in which a  mobile lab was found in someone else’s car and Riffey was identified as the one who placed the lab in the car. The Alford plea allows Riffey to plead guilty while maintaining his innocence.

Riffey also pleaded guilty by Alford to three drug distribution charges from March 2014 where he handed off hydromorphone pills to a third party in a drug transaction involving a confidential informant. He also pleaded guilty to methamphetamine distribution from that same month where he sold the drugs to a confidential informant.

Riffey’s sentence also requires him to pay $2,326 in restitution: $230 for drug transactions using Virginia State Police funds, and the remainder to the Edinburg Fire Department and Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue for cleaning up the methamphetamine lab in his home.