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The owner of car stolen from the 200 block of N. Ripley Street says that his keys were stolen from his unlocked apartment in the early morning of Jan. 2, 2023 (via Google Maps)

A 25-year-old Alexandria man faces multiple charges after being found with a stolen car and allegedly running away from police earlier this month.

The car owner told police that someone must have entered his unlocked apartment and gotten the keys to his 2015 white Honda CRV between midnight on Jan. 1 and 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 2, according to a search warrant affidavit. The Honda owner then checked a GPS tracker, which showed it parked a mile-and-a-half away in the 5600 block of Derby Court in the Mark Center area.

Police went to the address and found the male suspect getting a black jacket out of the backseat of the stolen Honda. The suspect “took off running” when he saw police, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Police could not confirm whether the suspect arrested was the same as the person who stole the car.

“(The officer) was unable to find any information on who stole the vehicle at this time and (the suspect) was not currently driving the vehicle when it was located,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

The suspect was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended/revoked license, public intoxication, entering a stolen vehicle, preventing law enforcement from making an arrest and possession of Schedule I/II drugs. He was released from jail on Jan. 6 on a $2,500 unsecured bond and goes to court on Feb. 23.

Map via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police lights (staff photo by James Cullum)

After a lengthy trial, a hung jury couldn’t reach a verdict against a 24-year-old California man accused of murdering a man in the West End in 2020, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney will retry the case in February.

On Thursday (Dec. 15), the jury remained deadlocked on whether Ahmed Mohammed Shareef should be charged with murder or manslaughter in the Nov. 2020 shooting death of 23-year old Yousef Omar. The jury did, however, find Shareef guilty of racketeering with 20 others for operating a drug trafficking organization between the D.C. Metro area and Los Angeles, California.

Shareef is claiming self-defense and pleaded not guilty to all charges. He will be retried for the murder charge on February 16, Alexandria’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter told ALXnow.

“The jury trial was extremely lengthy,” Porter said. “It started the very beginning of November, and was a six-week trial. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury convicted him of racketeering, but was unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge. The case has been continued to February 16.”

Sentencing is being withheld for the racketeering charges until the conclusion of the upcoming murder trial. Shareef faces life in prison for the murder charge and up to 40 years for the racketeering charge.

Omar was found shot multiple times in the driver’s seat of a 2016 silver Mercedes E350 on the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 17, 2020. A firearm was found near Omar’s body, as well as numerous shell casings, indicating that he fired at his attacker. A half-hour after the shooting, Shareef checked himself into Howard University Hospital with a gunshot wound, police said in a search warrant affidavit.

The investigation of the drug trafficking organization resulted in the arrest of 20 individuals, including Shareef, and the seizure of $500,000 worth of marijuana, nearly $275,000 in cash, 23 firearms, cocaine and other drugs, digital scales, money counters, fake identifications and a number of vehicles.

“The investigation also revealed that the likely motive (of the murder) was over an unresolved drug debt and potential interference by the victim to pry customers away from the (drug trafficking organization),” police said in a search warrant affidavit.

A witness told police that they saw Shareef and Omar in the Mercedes, parked across the street from the Newport Village apartment complex near Fort Ward Park.

The witness saw Shareef “exit the vehicle and proceed to shoot the victim multiple times as he sat in the driver’s seat, striking him multiple times,” according to the search warrant affidavit. “The suspect then ran to a waiting vehicle, entering the front passenger seat and fleeing the scene.”

The incident was the third and final homicide of 2020.

A police investigation determined that Shareef and his co-conspirators ferried marijuana from Los Angeles to the D.C. Metro area in large suitcases on commercial airliners. In many instances, the suspect who checked the baggage in California would not get on flights and the bags, with different names on identification tags, would be picked up by other suspects in Virginia. The marijuana in the luggage was found in vacuum-sealed bags.

“The method included top tier traffickers purchasing flights for individuals and packing large suitcases with other materials to conceal large quantities of marijuana, ensuring that the bag was checked approximately 50 minutes before the flight left and would often be picked up by different individuals at DCA (Washington Reagan International Airport) and IAD (Dulles International) airports in the Commonwealth,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

(The story previously said incorrectly that Shareef is defending himself. That is not accurate. He is instead claiming self-defense.)

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A number of suspected MS-13 gang members have been arrested the last several months for allegedly selling crack/cocaine, marijuana and firing gunshots in the Arlandria area.

The suspects allegedly sold the drugs throughout the Arlandria area — and ran the operation from apartments in the 3800 block of Milan Drive and the 3800 block of Executive Avenue, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The investigation started in February, when police were notified by confidential sources of the “ongoing sale of crack cocaine and marijuana in the City of Alexandria” by “mid-to-high” ranked MS-13 gang members, according to a search warrant affidavit. Police determined that numerous suspects allegedly sold drugs in Four Mile Run Park behind the Arlandria Shopping Center and in a parking lot of a convenience store in the 3900 block of Mount Vernon Avenue.

On February 19, police discovered a suspected crack pipe and push rod on a man shortly after he entered the apartment building on Milan Drive. The man sad that “he goes (there) to buy $20 of crack cocaine at a time,” police said in the search warrant. “He advised the people inside (the apartment) would not sell to him that day because they were aware the police were outside the building.”

At around 4 p.m. on March 3, police observed a male on a bike ride up to the apartment building and go inside. He left two minutes later, and once outside, “manipulated the handlebars on his bike and pulled off the end cap and placed a small object, that appeared to be plastic, into the handlebars of his bike and replaced the end cap,” according to the search warrant affidavit.

On March 8, two juvenile suspects were arrested after allegedly firing gunshots in the air. The juveniles, who were seen regularly with a half dozen other suspects, were apprehended at the apartment in the 3800 block of Executive Avenue. One of the juvenile suspects is a person of interest in a Herndon Police Department homicide investigation, and had an active juvenile detention orders for malicious wounding and assault by mob, according to the search warrant affidavit.

In the apartment on Executive Avenue, police recovered a stolen Ruger, a .45 caliber handgun, a stolen 9 mm Glock handgun, six cell phones and a gun holster.

On April 13, police arrested another suspect — a 33-year-old man who was deported in 2019 for multiple violent crimes, according to the search warrant affidavit. The suspect was arrested after allegedly selling drugs in the outdoor basketball court behind the Arlandria Shopping Center.

On July 14, a 22-year-old suspect was arrested and released that same day on a $3,500 unsecured bond. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute Schedule I/II drugs.

The 19-year-old suspected ringleader was arrested on September 7, and is being held without bond. He has been charged with possession to distribute marijuana, selling Schedule I/II drugs and possession of a firearm with Schedule I/II drugs. He goes to court on October 11.

APD would not comment on the ongoing investigation.

Earlier this week, Police Chief Don Hayes said that the city is contending with gangs and crews of individuals committing violent acts throughout the city. The city’s Gang Prevention Community Task Force is also starting to develop an action plan to combat gang violence.

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A 23-year-old Prince William County man was arrested on July 23 (Saturday) after police found him asleep in his car on the wrong side of the road on Yale Drive.

The incident occurred at around 4:15 p.m. The investigating officer found a silver Toyota facing the wrong way on Yale Drive in the oncoming traffic lane. The driver was unconscious but breathing in the driver’s seat, police said in a search warrant affidavit.

“The vehicle was in drive, the engine running, with lights on, and (the suspect’s) foot (was) on the break and the break lights illuminated,” police said in a search warrant affidavit. “While at the window, I observed the driver with a light blue circular pill on his lap, a dollar bill and a credit/debit card. There also appeared to be a white powdery substance sprinkled on his lap.”

The officer activated a personal red/blue emergency light on his uniform and announced himself.

The officer reported that the driver woke up in a panic and lethargically grabbed at items in the vehicle. The driver refused commands to lower the window or unlock the car door.

“He then grabbed a phone and yelled, ‘I need to call my mom,'” police reported in the search warrant affidavit. “I announced ‘Police,’ several times and ordered him to open the door. He continued to refuse all commands given to him and never opened his door. I then informed him he was under arrest for obstruction and he continued to refuse commands.”

The rear driver’s side door to the suspect’s car was broken, and back-up officers popped the lock on the door. The suspect refused to get out of the car and was removed by multiple officers.

The driver was released on $2500 unsecured bond the same day. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, resisting arrest, possession of Schedule I drugs and possession of Schedule IV drugs.

Via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police lights (Staff photo by James Cullum)

A 32-year-old Alexandria man is being held without bond after allegedly selling narcotics from various hotel rooms in Northern Virginia.

The series of events leading to the suspect’s arrest begins on February 20, 2022.

On that date, Alexandria Police were called to an apartment in the 5700 block of Dow Avenue for a 35-year-old man who was not breathing. The man’s 13-year-old son made the call, and led police to the bedroom, where they were unable to resuscitate him, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Police also questioned a person who was asleep in the bedroom with the man, and in the adjoining bathroom found a small plastic bag with “white powder inside, a spoon with baked white powder residue and a lighter,” according to the search warrant affidavit. The person told police that they bought the schedule I/II narcotics from the suspect and brought the drugs back to the apartment.

APD then discovered that the suspect’s fiancé died of a drug-related overdose on March 23, 2021, in Arlington County.

“During the investigation, (the suspect) admitted to obtaining the narcotics from an individual in Prince George’s County and sharing them with his fiancé before her overdose,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

Police conducted a sting operation in March in Fairfax County, and the suspect drove to the meet in a rental car and sold an unspecified amount of fentanyl to a police informant. The suspect’s rental car was found in the parking lot of a Motel Six in Dumphries on March 23, and then at a Days Inn on South Bragg Street in Alexandria on March 29.

On March 30, APD conducted a search of the suspect’s hotel room in Alexandria and found:

  • Multiple baggies of cocaine
  • Multiple baggies of suspected fentanyl
  • $529 in cash
  • A vise press with suspected narcotics
  • Multiple digital scales
  • Packaging and cutting materials
  • Suspected MDMA pills
  • Multiple cell phones

The suspect was arrested on March 30, charged with posession with intent to distribute schedule I/II narcotics (a felony) and then released on bond in May.

On June 14, the suspect met with his pretrial officer at the Alexandria jail, and was afterward seen getting into a vehicle with two other people and driving away. The suspect, who has a suspended driver’s license, was pulled over by police after parking for a long period in a nearby convenience store parking garage. Inside of the suspect’s vehicle, police found multiple baggies of a white powdery substance hidden in the roof lining, and then another plastic baggie with white powder in the  pocket of the back passenger seat, according to the search warrant affidavit.

In the backseat, the passenger told police that he’d met the suspect five days before, and that he had a drug problem and was trying to buy narcotics from the suspect, police said in the search warrant affidavit. Neither of the passengers were arrested, and the suspect said that the only items in the car that belonged to him were a bank card and his clothes, that he’d just left a pretrial meeting at the jail and was “going to sign up for treatment at a Fairfax substance abuse clinic shortly,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

“When advised that members of the Vice/Narcotics Unit had observed him use narcotics inside a parking garage and found discarded drug paraphernalia and his pretrial officer’s business card near the parking spot the vehicle had occupied, (the suspect) advised he didn’t realiz we had been watching him for such a long period of time,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

The suspect has been held without bond since the June 14 incident, although that case was dismissed for want of admissible evidence.

On July 13, the suspect’s March 30 arrest was certified to the grand jury as a felony possession with intent to distribute charge. He faces indictment in August, and between five and 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

In May, Alexandria warned of a spike in fentanyl-related opioid overdoses. There were 30 opioid overdoses in the first five months of 2022, with two confirmed fentanyl overdoses.

According to the City:

For life-threatening situations, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you have information regarding the illegal sale of opioids or other drugs, please call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6277.

If you or someone you care about needs help, please call 703.746.3400 to speak with staff at the Department of Community and Human Services. Treatment for opioid use can be accessed by calling the City’s Opioid Treatment Program intake line at 703.746.3610 and detox services can be accessed by calling 703.746.3636. Additional treatment options can be found at samhsa.gov or by calling 800.662.HELP (4357).

The City also encourages residents to dispose of expired or unneeded medications.  Several medication disposal boxes are located throughout the City.

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Updated at 5:30 p.m. On April 19, at 6:30 p.m., a social worker at Inova Fairfax Hospital contacted the Child Protective Services hotline.

The social worker reported that a three-year-old girl was overdosing and was brought to the hospital emergency room by her mother in a Lyft transport, according to a police search warrant affidavit.

“By the time (the child and her mother) arrived at the hospital, the child was in full cardiac arrest,” police said in a search warrant affidavit. “The child was treated with Narcan and immediately reacted.”

Narcan is a prescription medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose through injection or intranasal mist.

Police later found the mother and daughter in the hospital’s pediatric unit. The mother told police that she is homeless was staying at a friend’s house. She told police that her child picked up a cup and put it to her lips, and that soon after she became increasingly lethargic, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The woman also reportedly told the social worker that she did not know what was inside the cup. When police asked the mother where she was when the incident occurred, she said that she didn’t know the address. She also said that her friend’s name is Tiffany.

The child was removed from her mother during the investigation and placed in the custody of one of the father’s cousins, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Over the next several days, the social worker spoke with the child’s father, who told her that his ex (the mother of the child) confided that she “made up Tiffany’s name and that she was at another friend’s house,” according to the search warrant affidavit.

“[The mother] is purposely not telling us where she was when the incident occurred,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

The cousin told police that the child reported she and her mother were, in fact, at another cousin’s house when the incident occurred, that the mother of the child has always struggled with drugs, and that “her preference is Percocet laced with Fentanyl,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

“[The cousin] stated that even though [the mother] knew what was going on with [the child], she didn’t tell the medical staff when she arrived at the hospital. She knew that [her child] had drugs in her system and stayed quiet,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

No arrests have been made in connection to this incident, and APD could not be reached for comment.

Anyone who suspects that a child is being abused or neglected should call the city’s CPS hotline at 703-746-5800, or the Virginia hotline at 1-800-552-7096. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911 for police assistance.

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Recently confiscated small, round, pale blue counterfeit pill with tin used for inhalation, image courtesy Alexandria Police Department

The Alexandria Police Department and city officials are warning locals about an uptick in overdoses linked to pills laced with fentanyl.

“City of Alexandria officials warn the community about a recent spike in suspected fentanyl-related overdoses, especially in school-aged youth who report using a ‘little blue pill’ they believed was Percocet,” the city said in a release. “Illicit drugs are often laced with fentanyl, an inexpensive substitute that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and can be deadly.”

Police said two juveniles died of an overdose in a neighboring jurisdiction from the same type of pill.

“Most juvenile cases reported involved either smoking or ingesting a ‘blue pill’ that is being sold as a Percocet pill,” said Captain Monica Lisle, commander of the Criminal Investigations Division at the Alexandria Police Department, in the release. “There were two reported overdose deaths of juveniles last week in a neighboring jurisdiction involving this same type of pill, so we are doing all we can to warn youth and other community members of the resources available to combat this epidemic. We are asking for the public’s help in understanding the prevalence of opioid overdoses, how they can be prevented, and to speak with youth regarding the dangers of all illicit drugs, particularly these ‘little blue pills’.”

The Alexandria School Board is set to decide Thursday (May 5) on carrying Nalaxone, or Narcan, as an emergency medication to be given to students in the event of an opiate overdose.

The warning comes after four were arrested in Prince William County with fentanyl-laced Percocet pills and as Alexandria City Public Schools is considering adding overdose treatment drug Narcan to schools.

“Between April 1 and May 1, twelve opioid overdoses were reported in the City of Alexandria, six of which occurred in persons under the age of 17,” the city said. “None of these overdoses resulted in a fatality and many of the victims were revived by first responders equipped with Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal medication. Since the start of 2022, 30 opioid overdoses have been reported in Alexandria. Of these, two people died in January of confirmed fentanyl overdoses.”

Police said the counterfeit pills carry an imprint of a capital M to mimic an authentic M30 tablet.

According to the release:

The City has resources available to help combat the opioid epidemic, including Narcan, a safe, easy-to-administer nasal spray that is available in Virginia without a prescription. Narcan can be obtained at no charge from the Alexandria Opioid Work Group’s Mail Out program by emailing [email protected] and at the Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.). Narcan is also available at most pharmacies throughout Alexandria.

For life-threatening situations, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you have information regarding the illegal sale of opioids or other drugs, please call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6277.

If you or someone you care about needs help, please call 703.746.3400 to speak with staff at the Department of Community and Human Services. Treatment for opioid use can be accessed by calling the City’s Opioid Treatment Program intake line at 703.746.3610 and detox services can be accessed by calling 703.746.3636. Additional treatment options can be found at samhsa.gov or by calling 800.662.HELP (4357).

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Alexandria City Public Schools will likely soon begin carrying Nalaxone, or Narcan, as an emergency medication to be given to students if they are overdosing on opiates.

If approved by the School Board on May 5 (Thursday), school nurses or anyone “acting on behalf of the School Board who has completed a training program may possess and administer naloxone or other opioid antagonist for overdose reversal,” according to a staff report.

The policy would go into effect immediately if approved by the Board.

The City began offering free Narcan spray and fentanyl test strips years ago as the number of opioid-related overdoses was on the rise. Residents can get access to Narcan for free by mail, and it is also available without a prescription at pharmacies.

“The drug Naloxone, also known as Narcan, can save the life of someone who is experiencing an opioid overdose, if given in time,” the city said.

Residents can get Narcan by mail by emailing their name and address to [email protected] or picking up a dose of the nasal spray by calling the Alexandria Health Department at 703-746-4888 or the City’s Opioid Response Coordinator at 703-746-3326.

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A 31-year-old Prince William County woman, who claimed to be five months pregnant, was arrested last month for drug possession in Old Town.

At around 10:40 p.m. on (Friday) March 25, the woman was parked with a friend in a silver Kia in the unit block of Oronoco Street, which is near Founders Park in Old Town. The Kia had temporary registration plates from Texas, and the woman admitted to an Alexandria Police officer that she’d been drinking and was 20 weeks pregnant, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The driver was told that her car was going to be impounded since it was unregistered, and she and her friend were asked to get out of the car.

Police found MDMA/ecstasy in powder form inside the car, and when asked about it the suspect said it was cigarette ash mixed with “Molly.” The driver told police that she had recently ingested cocaine, and met up with an old friend from high school in a parking lot in the city to pick up the MDMA because she needed something to relax her that was stronger than alcohol, according to a search warrant.

A field test of the drug confirmed that it was MDMA.

“(The suspect) stated she had previously used cocaine before and needed something stronger since the father of her unborn child told her that he didn’t want her to have the baby,” police said in the warrant. “(The suspect) states that this was her second pregnancy, and she had a miscarriage on her first child a few years ago.”

The driver was charged with possession of Schedule I/II drugs, and was released from the Alexandria jail shortly after her arrest on a $1,000 unsecured bond. She goes to court for the offense on June 14. Her passenger was not charged.

Alexandria offers substance abuse services for City of Alexandria residents age 18 and older. More information is available online or by calling 703-746-3535. Walk-in appointments are available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Alexandria Community Services Board, 720 North Saint Asaph Street.

Via Google Maps

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A 35-year-old Richmond man faces serious charges after allegedly crashing a car into a pole in the 1000 block of Janneys Lane.

The incident occurred at around 10:45 p.m. on April 2 (Saturday), and the driver was found hiding from police two blocks away. The man told police that he was hiding because he was scared, according to a search warrant affidavit.

After denying that he took any alcohol or drugs, the man was searched and police seized several baggies with small, crystal shaped rocks, several syringes and plastic or glass pipes, according to a search warrant affidavit. The man was charged with hit and run, driving without a license, possession of Schedule I/II drugs, possession of Schedule III drugs and driving while intoxicated.

The suspect was released on April 4 on $7,000 unsecured bond and goes to court on April 18.

Via Google Maps

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