Reston, VA

Three men — including two Reston residents — have pleaded guilty for their involvement in the drug-related murder of Michael Cooker in 2018.

Charles Forbes, 30, of Reston, pleaded guilty late last week to using a firearm to commit a drug-related murder. Fredy Alfaro, 36, also of Reston, and Jimmie McCray, 36,  of Sterling,  also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the murder and conspiring to distribute marijuana.

Alfaro worked with Cooker and others to ship marijuana from California and sell it in Northern Virginia from January through April of 2018, according to court documents.

When Alfaro and Cooker had an argument over the conspiracy’s profits, Alfaro called McCray and offer him money to physically harm Cooker. The offer came after Cooker and Alfaro argued on April 17, court documents show. McCray told Forbes about Alfaro’s offer, court documents show.

Around 6 a.m. the next day, Cooker, McCray, Forbes and another individual who has not named drove to Chantilly where McCray gives Forbes a revolver.

Forbes left in a separate car with Cooker, pulled over in a wooded area in Fairfax Station, and shot him twice in the head roughly half-an-hour after the group separated. Forbes left his body there, according to police.

Alfaro was sentenced to 21 years in prison, McCray was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and Forbes faces a maximum term of life in person when he is sentenced on April 9, 2021.

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A Reston man pleaded guilty today (Wednesday) to selling fentanyl to someone in Northern Virginia who later overdosed and died.

Peter Andrew Romm, 35, sold customers heroin and fentanyl that he bought from Baltimore, according to court documents. regularly traveled to Baltimore to buy heroin and fentanyl that he then sold to customers in Northern Virginia.

Authorities believe Rom sold the drug in plastic capsules and folded in slips of paper. A man who purchased drugs from him in 2019 was later found dead in his apartment. An autopsy determine the man died of a fatal drug overdose.

He was arrested on Feb. 11 this year as he made his way back from Baltimore with 75 fentanyl capsules. He was arrested again eight days later on the way back from Baltimore with an additional 72 capsules, according to court documents.

Romm pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl; and one count of distribution of fentanyl. He admitted that the fentanyl he distributed caused the man’s death as part of his plea agreement. .

He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.

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Fairfax County Police Department participates in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this week with several drop-off locations, including Reston Hospital.

This Saturday (Oct. 24) Reston residents can properly dispose of their expired, unused, or unwanted prescription pills and patches, according to FCPD.

There will be drop-off locations across the county collecting items from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including Reston Hospital(1850 Town Center Parkway) as it works to “Crush the Crisis” during this day.

“Volunteers will be collecting tablets, capsules, and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and Oxymorphone(Opana), the press release said. “Needles, syringes, lancets, or liquids will not be accepted. Law enforcement officers from the Fairfax County Police Department will be on site to assist with the collection and disposal of unused medications.”

E-cigarettes and vape pens will also be accepted, only if the batteries are removed.

Other drop-off locations include:

  • Fair Oaks District Station (12300 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway)
  • Franconia District Station (6121 Franconia Road)
  • Mason District Station (6507 Columbia Pike)
  • McLean District Station (1437 Balls Hill Road)
  • Mount Vernon District Station (2511 Parkers Lane)
  • Sully District Station (4900 Stonecroft Blvd.)
  • West Springfield District Station (6140 Rolling Road)

This year will be the 19th year of U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Last year, almost five thousand law enforcement facilities participated across the county, with more than six thousand collection sites, the website said.

Photo by Freestocks/Unsplash

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Friday Morning Notes

Candidate Sought for Design Review Board — Reston Association is seeking a candidate for a design professional position on the board. The application is available online. Members must be in good standing to be considered for a committee. [RA]

Reston Hospital Center to host ‘Crush the Crisis’ Opioid Take-back Day — “With the opioid crisis still raging throughout the nation, Reston Hospital Center will be taking part in “Crush the Crisis,” an opioid drug take-back day, which will allow the community to safely dispose of unused or expired opioid medications.” [Reston Hospital Center]

Indictments Secured in Bihar Ghaisar Killing — “Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said on Thursday that he has secured indictments that include manslaughter against the two U.S. Park Police officers who shot and killed Bijan Ghaisar, an accountant from McLean, Virginia.” [WTOP]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Drug take-back boxes have been placed at all eight police stations in Fairfax County, including its Reston station. 

The eight stations include Reston District StationSully District Station, Mount Vernon District Station, McLean District Station, Mason District Station, Franconia District Station, West Springfield District Station and Fair Oaks District Station

According to a statement from the Fairfax County Police Department, the boxes placed at each local station are geared to be a safe place to responsibly and conveniently drop off unused or unneeded medications. 

The stations are accepting schedule II-V controlled and non-controlled prescription medication, prescription ointments, over-the-counter medications and medications for pets. 

The stations are prohibiting needles, liquids of any kind, illegal drugs, non-prescription ointments and lotions, aerosol cans and inhalers, according to the statement. 

The district stations are open to the public 24 hours each day, seven days each week. Those with questions can contact the Property and Evidence Section Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 703-246-2786.

Photo via the Fairfax County Government website 

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Friday Morning Notes

Former Land Planner in Reston Dies — John Veatch worked in Reston’s. Land planning office in the 1960s and helped execute Bob Simon’s vision for Reston. He passed at the age of 80 in Ashburn. [Reston Patch]

Fairfax County Historic Sites Resume Programming — “The Fairfax County Park Authority’s historic sites will begin programming once again, bringing the magic of local history outside, inside and virtually with a focus on family tours, safety and limited indoor access.” [Fairfax County Government]

Community Assessment on Substance Abuse Underway — The Fairfax Prevention Coalition is conducting a community assessment on substance abuse and hosting a series of virtual community focus groups to seek input. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Sandstone Care opened up a new Reston branch to the public on July 20. The drug and alcohol rehabilitation center has locations in the DMV area, as well as in Colorado. 

Since the onset of COVID-19, there has been a notable increase in overdoses and suicide deaths, according to Marcello LaRocca, the founder of Sandstone Care. With the enforcement of staying at home and social distancing, it’s not surprising that people are feeling disconnected. 

“The pandemic is bringing about isolation in pretty significant ways,” said LaRocca. “It’s definitely fueling a mental health surge, unfortunately.”

The community-based outpatient program specializes in serving teens and young adults. A big issue the age group is currently facing is uncertainty regarding the fall, specifically whether or not they will be going back to school.  

 Sandstone Care is aiming to support people through virtual services and assessments, while also keeping an in-person option for people when possible. 

“A lot of families, four months into the pandemic, have screen fatigue. Not having that connection can be a real challenge,” said LaRocca. 

The facility is taking many measures to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. In their day treatment programs, they are enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing and giving temperature screenings. There will be increased sanitation, and only essential personnel are allowed in the office. 

The reception from the public has been very positive. Virginia is a pretty underserved area, especially with resources for teens, according to LaRocca, so there has been a lot of support around their establishment.  

“I think there’s a lot of excitement and support from the other community mental health centers and hospitals,” said LaRocca. “It’s hard to be a human being right now.” 

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. 

Photo via the Sandstone Care/Facebook

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Blood Drives in Fire Station Parking Lots — “Several Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Volunteer Fire Departments are partnering with Inova Blood Donor Services to hold blood drives in their fire station parking lots. Due to current events, blood supplies in Fairfax County and the nation are at dangerously low levels and dropping.” [Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department]

County Buildings to Close to Public — All government facilities and buildings will be closed to the public beginning Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m. The county government remains open for business online and by phone and email. [Fairfax County Government]

Metro Closes More Stations — “Metro’s Pandemic Task Force today announced the strategic closing of 17 additional stations, effective Thursday, March 26, 2020, in an effort to conserve critical resources and protect the health and safety of Metro employees and the public. This follows drastic measures already taken to reduce travel on Metro to essential trips only, leading to a Metrorail ridership decline of 90 percent.” [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Economic Injury Loans for Small Businesses — Small businesses in the state can apply for low-interest Economic Injury Loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Businesses can get up to $2 million in working capital loans. [SBA]

Don’t Use Drug Take-Back Boxes  The boxes at the county’s police district stations will be closed until further notice to protect residents and first responders. [Fairfax County. Government]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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An addiction treatment center for drugs and alcohol recently announced its plans to expand into the Reston area.

Sandstone Care specializes in addiction treatment and care for young adults and teens. The center plans to open its doors for patients this spring at 11415 S. Isaac Newton Square, according to its Facebook page.

“We’re excited to announce the opening of our Reston, VA office in early Spring 2020!” the post said. “Stay tuned for more information, including details of our upcoming Open House!”

Currently, Sandstone Care has locations in Colorado and D.C. for patients ages 13-30, according to its website. Outpatient care options include detox, teen residential treatment, extended care, sober living programs and more, according to the website.

Reston Now reached out to Sandstone about the upcoming location and is awaiting more details.

Photo via Sandstone Care/Facebook

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A Sterling man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for distributing large amounts of heroin that led to at least two fatal overdoses, including an incident in Herndon.

Nedrick Lamont Jackson, 42, and his co-conspirators distributed, repackaged and sold narcotics in Loudoun and Fairfax counties, according to the office of U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger.

According to court documents, Johnson gave $400 of heroin to a woman in Herndon in March 2018, even though he knew she was “highly-impaired,” according to court documents. The woman — whose name was identified as L.R. — was found dead in her home two days later due to mixed drug intoxication.

Here’s more from Terwilliger:

In January 2019, Johnson distributed fentanyl to one of his co-conspirators to sell to a customer. The customer ingested these drugs, overdosed, and then drove their car into a parked vehicle in Sterling. Loudoun County deputies revived this customer through CPR and administration of Narcan.

In February 2019, Johnson distributed fentanyl to one of his co-conspirators to sell to a user. That customer, referred to as K.P., ingested the narcotics along with other drugs that he had obtained from a second source. K.P. died shortly thereafter of mixed drug intoxication.

Photo via Michael Longmire/Unsplash

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Tuesday Morning Notes

New Express Route to Pentagon, Changes Come to Fairfax Connector — A new express route to the Pentagon will be available later this month after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisor’s approved changes to the bus system. Minor time adjustments will also go into effect on Route 950 –from Herndon-Reston. [Fairfax County Government]

Former comScore CEO and Board Member Steps Down — “ComScore has had a number of CEOs and board members come and go. Its latest executive to depart points to “clear skies and smooth waters” ahead for the embattled Reston company.”  [Washington Business Journal]

Reston Woman Dropped off by Redskins’ Player Died of Accidental Overdose — “A woman who was dropped off “unconscious and unresponsive” at a Loudoun County medical center by Washington Redskins safety Montae Nicholson and a friend in November died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, authorities said a Virginia medical examiner has ruled. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that the investigation into the death of Julia Crabbe, 21, of Reston, remains ongoing and that detectives are still trying to determine the source of the drug that killed her. No charges have been filed.” [The Washington Post]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Friday Morning Notes

Victim Assaulted by Four Suspects — A man was assaulted by four individuals as he was walking alone along the 1200 block of Herndon Parkway on Oct. 23. The incident is under investigation. [Herndon Police Department]

Reston District Station Collects Drugs for Take Back Day — The station collected 13 bags and 145 pounds of drugs during the 18th annual drug take back day on Saturday, Oct. 26. Franconia collected the most pounds of drugs, with Reston ranking fourth in the number of donations. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo via Flickr/vantagehill

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Fairfax County Police are hosting an open house where people can drop off unwanted or expired prescription medication.

Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout is an initiative that aims to keep unneeded medication out of the wrong hands and the environment, which can lead to abuse or accidental poisoning, according to the Fairfax County website. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 26), community members may drop off their extra medications at safe and confidential disposal at any Fairfax County Police district station.

This service is free and event organizers will accept any medication that is in the form of pills or liquid, no needles or canisters.

There are eight stations in the area participating in the event, including the Reston District Station (1801 Cameron Glen Drive.)

“Drug take-back programs are important because they are a safe method for disposing of prescription drugs and are organized and closely monitored by local, state, and federal government agencies,” the Fairfax County website said.

More than 42,000 people died in 2016 around the United States from drug overdoses and this drive will help eliminate the risk of drug abuse, the website said.

Anyone struggling with drug abuse can contact the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board for help and support or call Fairfax Detoxification Center at 703-322-9080.

Photo via Fairfax County

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Following recent changes to state law, the Fairfax County School Board is drafting a policy to store and administer cannabis-derived medication to students at school.

The board is set to discuss the draft policy at a meeting tonight (Monday). Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly passed three bills that would expand access to the medications. Under the changes, students who have proper documentation can use cannabinol (CBD) oil and tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THC-A) oil at school.

The oils are derived from the cannabis plant and have been used by healthcare providers to treat conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, attention disorders, seizure, and other ailments.

The bill also protected school nurses from being prosecuted for possessing and distributing the oils — in accordance with school board policy.

Under the policy, students who have documented permission from a parent or guardian and a licensed practitioner of medicine or osteopath can receive the toils at school. Parents and guardians would also be required to provide the oils to students.

The board will discuss the draft policy at a work session tonight at 6 p.m.

Photo via Unsplash

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Colts Neck Underpass Art Installation Underway — Artist Ben Volta is working on installing public artwork on the Colts Neck underpass. More than 700 unique designs were contributed by the community to make the project possible. [Reston Today]

Accredited Status for All County Schools  All 194 schools in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) have received an accredited status level for 2019-20 based on performance in the 2018-19 school year. Two schools have been accredited with conditions for non-academic measures for dropout rate. One school has been accredited with conditions for performance in English.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Offers Help to Prevent Overdoses — Between January and March, there were 324 fatal overdoses in the state. Twenty two of the incidents took place in the county. The county offers several resources for residents, including the Fairfax Detoxification Center and appointments at the Merrifield Center. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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