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Affidavit: Defendant smuggled drugs into court

Peter Zimmerman

WOODSTOCK – A man charged in a 2011 string of burglaries is accused of smuggling drugs into a Shenandoah County court while in law enforcement custody last week.

Peter Nicholas Zimmerman, 41, of West Virginia, appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on March 7. A county grand jury indicted Zimmerman in October 2011 on multiple counts of burglary and theft stemming from incidents authorities say occurred in July 2011. A grand jury in Clarke County also indicted Zimmerman on burglary and theft charges from July 2011. The defendant was incarcerated in Maryland until recently. Now he’s being held without bond at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Frederick County.

However, in the circuit court on Wednesday, Zimmerman’s attorney Peter McDermott told Judge Dennis L. Hupp the public defender’s office would need to withdraw as the defendant’s counsel. Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley and McDermott told Hupp that a recent incident created a conflict for the public defender’s office. When asked by Hupp how recent the incident occurred, the attorneys said last week. The attorneys did not elaborate further.

Court documents filed in Shenandoah County Circuit Court last week shed light on the incident that prompted the public defender’s office to withdraw from representing Zimmerman.

Sgt. D.L. Farmer, with the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit, obtained a search warrant to take a sample of Zimmerman’s blood and have a state laboratory test it for drugs. The affidavit for the warrant states that on March 7 Zimmerman “smuggled suboxone strips into the processing center at (the former) Shenandoah County Jail” when he was transferred to the Shenandoah County Circuit Court.

“The confidential informant provided Sgt. Farmer a piece of suboxone strip that was provided to the informant by Zimmerman in the holding cell located at circuit courtroom in Shenandoah County,” the affidavit states. “Sgt. Farmer observed Zimmerman for a period of time and Zimmerman appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.”

Zimmerman had not been charged with any offense related to drug possession at the courthouse.

Suboxone, also known as buprenorphine and naloxone, is to treat opiate addiction.

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