Spotlighting investigation leads to arrest of felon in Rockingham County
Senior K9 Officer Billhimer observed a vehicle casting a small beam of light out of the driver’s side window illuminating an open field where deer commonly occupy on Monday night at approximately 9 p.m.
Officer Billhimer followed the vehicle to a residence in Broadway, which is in Rockingham County. Upon checking, the vehicle’s license plate returned to another vehicle. Officer Billhimer made contact with a female at the residence who denied anyone was around that would have been spotlighting.
Rockingham County Deputy, Sgt. Carroll Knupp, along with several other Sheriff’s Deputies, came to assist Officer Billhimer. Officer Billhimer deployed DGIF K9 Justice who immediately alerted to several bags appearing to be drugs and paraphernalia hidden in the woodline behind the residence.
K9 Justice then tracked from the driver’s door of the spotlighter’s vehicle through the woods, straight to a suspect lying on the ground hiding behind a fallen log.
The young man was identified as 29 year old, David Allen Goditt, a wanted fugitive for several outstanding felony warrants including felony kidnapping, felony grand larceny, two counts of possession of a controlled Schedule I or II substance, possession of a firearm by a felon, and marijuana possession. After Goditt was in custody, Sgt. Wes Campbell with the Rockingham County RUSH Drug Task Force arrived on scene to help process the heavily drug-polluted residence. Three people were taken into custody for possession of a controlled substance.
“This case is an important reminder of the dangers of enforcing wildlife laws and the risks our officers take to apprehend those who have no regard for our natural resources, says Major Scott Naff, Assistant Chief of Operations for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Law Enforcement Division. We are very proud of our K9 program and the incredible skills the K9s have and the talent our K9 officers have in using these valuable tools. We are also very appreciative of the support our officers receive from local law enforcement. It is reassuring to know that Officer Billhimer and Justice had the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Deputies behind them while tracking this dangerous fugitive.”