Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

Temporary Parking Change for Rec Center — “Due to the closure of Chinquapin Road, parking for Chinquapin Park Recreation Center and Aquatics Facility and Chinquapin Park is being redirected to the parking garage at T. C. Williams High School (3330 King St.) on Thursday, December 26. Chinquapin Park Recreation Center and Aquatics Facility is open until 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 26 and all programs will take place as scheduled.” [City of Alexandria]

Assault Investigation in Landmark Area — “The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a felonious assault in the unit block of South Reynolds Street. The victim was transported to a local hospital. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

Local Real Estate ‘Hits Pause’ in Nov. — “The number of sales in Alexandria dropped significantly from year-ago levels, down 25.8%, with the median selling price down 2.5% to $539,000.” [WTOP]

Alexandria Drug Dealer Sentenced — “An Alexandria man was sentenced in federal court to 20 years in prison for drug dealing that caused at least one overdose death. George Addae, 26, was sentenced for conspiring to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin related to heroin trafficking from 2016 to September 2018. Addae was also ordered to forfeit $100,000.” [Patch]

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An Alexandria man accused of manufacturing and distributing anabolic steroids has been sentenced to prison time.

John Russell Kestel, 38, was sentenced to serve five years in federal prison for the illicit steroid business, which was run “in a clandestine laboratory in the basement of his home in Alexandria.”

Federal prosecutors say Kestel also “concocted homemade versions of pharmaceutical drugs intended to counter the side effects of long-term steroid abuse.” He allegedly conducted the business using a private Facebook group.

More from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia:

An Alexandria man was sentenced today to five years in prison for manufacturing and distributing anabolic steroids and money laundering.

According to court documents, John Russell Kestel, 38, ran an anabolic steroid manufacturing and distribution conspiracy for at least three years. Kestel imported raw steroid powders from China and manufactured them into consumable steroid products in a clandestine laboratory in the basement of his home in Alexandria. In addition to steroid products, Kestel concocted homemade versions of pharmaceutical drugs intended to counter the side effects of long-term steroid abuse.

Kestel then distributed his homemade steroid products through social media sites including Facebook. After confirming the interest of potential clients in a private Facebook group, Kestel would direct them to a password-protected website where they could place orders and make payments.

Kestel utilized an elaborate money laundering scheme to conceal and disguise the nature of the proceeds of his steroid manufacturing and distribution operation. The money laundering scheme involved bank accounts that had been opened by the defendant in a multitude of names, including the names of real people known to the defendant and using their personally identifiable information.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Mark S. McCormack, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Metro Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Trigger and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis M. Fitzpatick prosecuted the case.

Photo by Analuisa Gamboa on Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Historic Waterfront Building Becoming Restaurant — “More details have recently been unveiled about the cafe and market going in at the 10 Duke Street warehouse building. Alexandrian Murray Bonnitt, a custom builder who specializes in historic preservation, is renovating the building, which served as a Civil War mess hall. Dubbed The Mill, it is part of the Robinson Landing development on Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

City Recognizes Cybersecurity Month — “During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, and year-round, the City of Alexandria encourages the public to understand the importance of cybersecurity and to stay safe and secure online.” [City of Alexandria]

Local Life Expectancy Varies by ZIP Code — “The average life expectancy in Alexandria is 81.70, which is higher than the 79.20 statewide average, and above the 78.60 national average… The life expectancy in the area of 100 King Street is 84.60 years, while it’s 79.70 years for 1000 Mount Vernon Avenue.” [Patch]

Changes May Be Coming to Duke Street — “On the heels of a controversial decision to reduce vehicle lanes and add bicycle lanes and more safety measures to Seminary Road, Alexandria City staff are starting to take a serious look at Duke Street, especially in areas that experience the most significant backups.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Loan Companies Giving Money to Local Pols — “Alexandria has eight car-title lending locations and two payday lenders, plus a growing number of companies offering online loans at nosebleed interest rates. It’s an industry that’s been under fire in recent years, and now campaign-finance disclosures show these companies are spreading their money around to Democrats and Republicans in an effort to influence the next General Assembly.” [Gazette Packet]

Pharmacy Owner Sentenced for Fraud — “A pharmacy owner with stores in Arlington and Alexandria has been sentenced to four years behind bars for falsifying insurance claims and illegally dispensing opioids.” [ARLnow]

Letter Writer: Art Festival Was Traffic ‘Disaster’ — Alexandria resident Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet writes in a letter to the editor: “A perfect example of overstretching our infrastructure occurred over the weekend when the annual Arts Festival invaded our turf. Anyone who came into Old Town on Saturday saw the largest traffic and parking disaster in years.” [Gazette Packet]

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