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Judge convicts man on drug, child endangerment charges

WOODSTOCK – A Shenandoah County man faces prison time for making methamphetamine around children in 2016.

Kevin Manly Powers pleaded guilty in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Wednesday to committing one count each of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, child endangerment and making methamphetamine in the presence of a child under the age of 15.

Judge Dennis L. Hupp accepted an agreement reached between Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley and Powers’ lawyer Charles Ramsey that called for the defendant to plead guilty to the four counts. Hupp dismissed Power’s four identical charges at the request of the commonwealth as part of the plea agreement. The cases will be transferred for sentencing to Frederick County Circuit Court where Powers stands accused of other offenses. Hupp advised Powers that the agreement accepted in his court does not call for a specific disposition and leaves the punishment up to a judge in Frederick County. Powers stands charged in Frederick County with one count each of possession of precursors to make methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of more than 10 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute the drug. Powers is scheduled to appear in Frederick County Circuit Court on Aug. 10.

Manufacturing methamphetamine and making the drug in the presence of children under 15 years old carries a maximum punishment of 40 years in prison. Maximum punishments for child endangerment and possession of methamphetamine are five years and 10 years, respectively.

Agents assigned to the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force and workers with the Department of Social Services responded to a potential case of child endangerment at the Edinburg residence of Powers and his girlfriend Bridget L. Knicely on March 23, 2016, Wiseley said in her summary of the commonwealth’s evidence. Knicely was not home and, when contacted by phone at work, refused to return to the residence. Eventually, Powers answered the door for the agents, Wiseley said.

Investigators initiated a search of the home because Knicely, serving supervised probation at the time, gave up her Fourth Amendment right to search and seizure as a condition of her release. Authorities discovered items in the residence that later tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, Wiseley said.

The prosecutor did not disclose what happened to the children living at the residence.

Knicely is scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on July 20 where she stands charged with two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine, one count of possession of the drug, three counts of child endangerment and two counts of making methamphetamine in the presence of children under the age of 15.

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