Man pleads guilty to heroin distribution

Jacob Gray

FRONT ROYAL — Circuit Judge Ronald L. Napier accepted a plea agreement on Monday that called for a man to plead guilty to heroin distribution.

Napier sentenced the defendant, Jacob Alan Gray, 36, to a total of three years in the corrections system, two years for the heroin distribution charge and an additional year on a probation violation.

Gray met with a confidential informant in December 2016 at a laundromat in town on Main Street, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Fleming explained during Monday’s hearing. Gray sold two bags of heroin for $70 to the informant, who was equipped with audio and video recording devices. The drugs were lab tested and shown to be heroin.

Napier remarked that he had seen Gray in the defendant’s seat multiple times in the last 15 years, and asked Gray how he ended up before him again. Gray said that he had made bad choices under pressure, and started using opiates and then heroin. He started selling heroin to support his habit, Gray told the judge.

Noting that Gray always showed a great deal of respect in the courtroom, Napier said that he has always tried to be a fair judge, and Gray noted that Napier had always been “exceptionally fair.”

Napier also authorized Gray for work release.

Gray was sentenced to serve two years imprisonment on the heroin charge and 365 days of a previously suspended sentence in jail on the probation violation. He must also pay $70 in restitution to Virginia State Police from the heroin transaction, and complete three years of supervised probation upon his release.