Waynesboro meth arrest leads to large multi-agency drug seizure

police crime scene

Credit: cglade

Members of the Waynesboro Police Department Special Operations Division arrested a local Waynesboro man for simple possession of methamphetamine following an April 3 traffic stop on South Delphine Avenue in the City of Waynesboro.

During the course of the arrest, the arrestee began to show signs of illness and admitted to ingesting several grams of methamphetamine. The arrestee was transported to Augusta Medical Center and is was treated for a controlled substance overdose. That subject has been treated and released into the custody of the Middle River Regional Jail.

During the course of the investigation into the source of the methamphetamine, Waynesboro Police were able to exploit cellular telephone records to develop a potential methamphetamine trafficking target in the area of New Market, Virginia. Waynesboro Narcotics Detectives partnered with an agent of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Office, and several agents of the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force to build a joint investigative team to conduct a follow-up investigation into the identified target.

The investigation culminated at 4:00 P.M. on 4 April, 2019, when members of the joint team arrested two Hispanic males who were parked at a local restaurant in New Market, Virginia. A little over ¼ pound of methamphetamine and $50,000 in cash was seized from the vehicle. During the arrest, police found a room key that was linked to a room at the Budget Inn Hotel at 2192 Old Valley Pike in New Market, VA. The team then executed a search warrant at the hotel room and seized 6 pounds of methamphetamine, an ounce of heroin and another $50,000 in cash. The street value of the 6 pounds of methamphetamine is approximately $250,000.

As a result of the investigation, 29-year-old Daniel Juberto Grijalba-Pierto, and 41-year-old Javier Garcia Ortiz were arrested for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Both men are being held without bond pending an initial court appearance on 12 April, 2019, in Shenandoah County.

The investigation revealed that these two subjects are positively linked to the same Mexican drug trafficking organization known to be responsible for trafficking hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine into the Waynesboro and central Virginia area over the past three years. Waynesboro Police previously arrested a husband and wife team of couriers on 23 September, 2018, after seizing four pounds of methamphetamine during an investigation. On 9 October, 2019, Waynesboro officers recovered 850 grams (almost two pounds) of meth in Greenville, Virginia, as part of the same investigation. Charges are pending in Augusta County as part of this case.

In December of 2018, police raided two separate Mexican themed stores in Waynesboro and charged several local residents with money laundering and racketeering as part of the larger conspiracy. Also, in late 2018, Waynesboro Police arrested several local residents for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, money laundering and conspiracy to transport narcotics into the Commonwealth of Virginia. All of these arrests, coupled with yesterday’s arrests in New Market, Virginia, indicate that the span of influence of this organization continues to grow in this area.

The Northwest Regional Drug Task Force is comprised of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Virginia State Police, members of the Page, Shenandoah, Frederick and Clarke County Sheriff’s Offices and detectives from Winchester, Strasburg and Front Royal police departments. The task force is the largest counter-drug unit in the state of Virginia.

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