Man facing drug charges may avoid jail

WOODSTOCK – A Shenandoah County man charged with drug crimes can avoid jail if he completes a year of probation.

A grand jury indicted Clayton Chaz Cary in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Wednesday on one count each of possession of oxycodone, methamphetamine and heroin.

The same day, Cary entered into an agreement reached between his lawyer C. Todd Gilbert and Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley that called for the defendant to plead guilty to the three charges. The deal also called for the court to find evidence sufficient to find Cary guilty on each charge but withhold adjudication for a year. During that time, Cary would need to successfully complete one year of supervised probation and 100 hours of community service.

Judge Clark Ritchie accepted the agreement and noted that the punishment coincides with the sentencing guidelines that call for Cary to serve probation and no incarceration. Specifically, Ritchie ordered that Cary be placed on first-offender status for one charge and that the court postpone action on the other counts for one year. Ritchie ordered the cases continued until Aug. 14, 2019.

Court documents charge Cary, 23, of 4363 Liberty Furnace Road, Edinburg, with possession of oxycodone on Dec. 19, 2016. Woodstock police officer C.T. Brandon responded to 174 E. Reservoir Road, Apt. 5, Woodstock, for a report of a suicidal male, according to a criminal complaint dated Oct. 10, 2017. Brandon states he seized contraband from the residence that belonged to Cary and Brooke McClellan. Brandon states he recovered a straw with residue that later tested positive for oxycodone. Court documents do not explain why nearly 10 months passed between the date of the alleged incident and the filing of the criminal complaint and arrest warrant. The commonwealth’s attorney has on many occasions said there is a backlog of evidence awaiting testing at the state’s forensic laboratory.

A checklist used by a magistrate to determine bail states that after Cary’s arrest on Nov. 1, Wiseley agreed to grant a $5,000 secured bond for the defendant.

Almost five months prior to filing the charge of possession of oxycodone in Shenandoah County General District Court, Woodstock police officer D.R. Dunivan stopped a vehicle driven by Cary at 12:43 a.m., May 15.

The criminal complaint states that Dunivan smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. Dunivan searched the vehicle and found a grinder with a green, leafy substance. Cary told the officer it was marijuana.

Dunivan states he found multiple hypodermic needles in the vehicle and 14 packages of a brown powder substance in foil that Cary said was heroin. The officer also found a pill that later tested positive for buprenorphine hydrochloride, the complaint states.

The officer found a white, crystal substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. Cary told the officer that a white substance found on a spoon and needles was Subutex, the complaint states. Subutex is also known as buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opiate addiction. The officer found a pistol in a locked box between the front seats, for which Cary had the keys.