Strasburg man arrested on meth charge

WOODSTOCK -- A Strasburg man was charged with methamphetamine possession with intent to distribute on Thursday after police found a large quantity of the suspected drug in his pocket.

WOODSTOCK — A Strasburg man was charged Thursday with methamphetamine possession with intent to distribute   after police found a large quantity of the suspected drug in his pocket.

Strasburg police were serving an arrest warrant on Brandon Shawn Zappas, 43, for a probation violation when the arresting officer noticed Zappas’ behavior to be “unusual,” the criminal complaint  states. Zappas allegedly informed the officer that he had used methamphetamine that morning, and that he had the drug in his pocket, the criminal complaint states.

The arresting officer weighed the suspected methamphetamine at 24 grams, an estimated street value of approximately $2,000, which can fluctuate depending on how it’s sold and current demand, Strasburg Police Capt. Wayne Sager said. Sager added that officers no longer conduct field test drugs to avoid potential exposure to fentanyl, a synthetic drug that has been turning up in heroin and blamed for many overdose deaths. Drugs believed by police to be meth or other banned substances have to be sent to the state’s forensic lab to confirm law enforcement suspicions.

Zappas pleaded guilty on Nov. 2 to drug distribution in Warren County Circuit Court after he admitted to being the driver in a May 2016 drug transaction. He was given a five-year suspended sentence and placed on two years of supervised probation as part of a plea agreement. He was still on probation at the time of his arrest Thursday.

The next hearing in the case  is set for Friday in Shenandoah County General District Court.