The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
75-year-old in Stafford facing new drug charge
BY KEITH EPPS
A convicted drug dealer who was arrested last year after he shot two people in a drug-related incident has been arrested on drug charges yet again.
Willie Claude Herring Jr., 75, was arrested Friday following a raid at his home at 1555 Brooke Road in Stafford.
Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy said narcotics detectives seized $25,000 worth of prescription pills and marijuana, along with $5,000 in cash.
Herring, who was free on bond at the time, was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond. He was charged with distributing illegal drugs and distributing marijuana.
Kennedy said detectives executed the search warrant after receiving multiple reports that Herring was continuing to sell drugs out of his home.
Animal control officers also seized four dogs who were found tied up on the property with no access to water, Kennedy said. Two of the dogs had open wounds on their ears with severe flea infestation.
Herring’s criminal record includes a conviction in Spotsylvania County in 2005 for distributing marijuana and a conviction in Stafford in 2001 for malicious wounding, court records show.
He has a trial scheduled on Aug. 17 in Stafford Circuit Court on multiple charges stemming from a Sept. 28 incident during which he shot two people during an attempted robbery at Herring’s home.
Jason W. Atkins and Ricky D. Atkins went to Herring’s home that evening along with a young woman.
According to evidence presented in court, the Atkins brothers and the woman hatched a plan to rob Herring of drugs and money.
The plan called for the woman to arrange to purchase 20 oxycodone pills from Herring, and for the men to rush in and rob Herring after he opened the door for the woman.
When Herring saw one of the men running up the steps with a crowbar, he pulled out a pistol and fired a shot. The bullet went through the woman’s arm and into the shoulder of one of the men.
Police became involved after the injured would-be robbers showed up at Mary Washington Hospital for treatment.
Both brothers later pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and conspiracy and were ordered to serve a year in prison.
Police went to Herring’s house after the shooting and found marijuana, 142 pills, pistols and more than $4,000 in cash.
In connection with that incident, Herring is charged with two counts of malicious wounding, possessing a firearm as a felon, possessing a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs and shooting in an occupied dwelling.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404