Front Royal man pleads guilty to heroin possession with intent to distribute

FRONT ROYAL -- A local man pleaded guilty on Monday to heroin possession with the intent to distribute, the charge stemming from a March traffic stop.

FRONT ROYAL — A local man pleaded guilty on Monday to heroin possession with the intent to distribute, the charge stemming from a March traffic stop.

Brian William Schmidt, Jr., 26, met with a confidential informant on March 15 to travel to Baltimore together and buy heroin, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Fleming said during Monday’s hearing. A GPS tracker was placed on the informant’s car before the drive, and the informant was equipped with an audio recording device, Fleming said. The two left for Baltimore that night, and when they returned to Front Royal the next morning, local police conducted a traffic stop  during which they found four grams of heroin in Schmidt’s groin area, Fleming said.

The confidential informant had heroin in his possession that he bought from Schmidt, Fleming said, but the transaction took place before the two re-entered Virginia. Upon his arrest, Schmidt admitted to his participation in the transaction to law enforcement, Fleming noted.

Schmidt was originally charged as if he had committed a third heroin distribution-related offense, but the plea agreement entered on Monday amended the charge to being the second offense. Circuit Judge Ronald L. Napier accepted the agreement under conditions disclosed to him at the bench.

The agreement called for Schmidt to be sentenced to serve three years of a five-year prison sentence, three years being the mandatory minimum required for a second distribution  offense. Schmidt must also complete two years of supervised probation upon his release, and pay $200 in restitution to Virginia State Police for the drug transaction.

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