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James Edward Graves Convicted of Felony Marijuana Possession

with the Intent to Distribute

August 30, 2006

For Immediate Release

Lynchburg, Virginia

 

On August 29, 2006, a Lynchburg jury convicted James Edward Graves, 35, of Altavista, of possession of between one-half ounce and five pounds of marijuana with the intent to distribute. The jury recommended a sentence of eight years incarceration.

Graves was the passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for a traffic violation on December 18, 2005, on Route 29 south near Kemper Street. As Officer Dan Bailey of the Lynchburg Police Department spoke with the driver, Maurice Quentin Poe, he noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car. He got Poe and Graves out of the vehicle and conducted a search. Under the passenger seat where Graves was riding, Bailey located a bag containing almost one pound of marijuana. Also in the bag were papers and receipt from a cell phone which Graves had purchased at Best Buy the previous day. Graves admitted that the cell phone was his, but denied any knowledge of the marijuana.

Bailey also recovered more than $10,000 in U.S. currency from a shoe box in the back seat of the car, and approximately seventeen more pounds of marijuana from the trunk. In addition to the cash and drugs, the car contained numerous items associated with the drug trade – several cell phones, two sets of digital scales, plastic bags and packaging materials.

The driver of the car, Poe, pled guilty to possession of more than five pounds of marijuana with the intent to distribute in July.

While the jury recommended a sentence of eight years for Graves, Judge Mosby G. Perrow, III will conduct a final sentencing hearing on October 27, 2006. The Court cannot increase the jury’s recommended sentence, but it does have the authority to suspend as much of the sentence as it sees fit. The defendant is currently being held without bond in the Lynchburg Adult Detention Center.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Bennett.

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