The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Drug delivery to elderly woman’s house lands four in jail
BY KEITH EPPS
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Four people have been arrested in an investigation that began after a package of methamphetamine was delivered to the Fredericksburg home of an unsuspecting 81-year-old Fredericksburg woman, police said.
City police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said officers went to the 3100 block of Normandy Avenue Wednesday after receiving a call from the elderly woman’s son.
Bledsoe said the son frequently visits to check on his mother. The son, who is in his 40s, reported that a handyman who works for his mother came to the house and said he was looking for a FedEx package that was addressed to the woman’s house.
The son was suspicious about why the handyman would have the package sent to a residence where he doesn’t live. He told the handyman that he didn’t know anything about the package.
The man left and the son later asked his mother about the package. She told her son she had received the package a few days earlier but threw it away because it was addressed to a name she did not recognize.
The son got the opened package out of the trash and found a suspicious substance wrapped in plastic. He called police, and officers determined that the substance was methamphetamine. Known on the street as meth, it is a highly addictive stimulant.
Police got the woman to call the man who had inquired about the package and tell him it had arrived. She told the man she would leave it on the porch.
The woman and her son then left the residence while police had it under surveillance. A short time later, a couple showed up and picked up the package. Police stopped their vehicle as soon as it started to leave.
Jerald Heflin, 34, of Stafford County and his live-in girlfriend, 33-year-old Renee Archuleta were arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs. Heflin was also charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
Bledsoe said Heflin works around the elderly woman’s house, but he was not the one who stopped by earlier to ask about the package. Police said that man is another handyman who also works at the woman’s house, 47-year-old Anthony Willingham.
Police got a search warrant for Willingham’s home on Blarney Street in Chancellor Green in Spotsylvania County. Authorities found an undisclosed amount of drugs and other items.
Willingham was charged in Fredericksburg with the same offenses as Heflin. In Spotsylvania, Willingham is charged with distributing methamphetamine, conspiracy, possessing a gun as a felon and possessing a gun while in possession of drugs, court records show.
His wife, Christina Willingham, 38, was charged in Fredericksburg with conspiracy and in Spotsylvania with possession of illegal drugs.
The men were jailed under no bond and the women were jailed under $2,500 bonds.
Bledsoe said Heflin and Anthony Willingham run a business, T&S Services. Bledsoe said anyone with information about suspicious activity involving either man or the business is asked to call Fredericksburg Detective Katie Harris at 540/654-5762.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404