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Six additional charges have been filed against a small-town police chief accused of distributing methamphetamine, state police said yesterday.

Damascus Police Chief Anthony Stephen Richardson, 40, now faces seven felony counts. Along with the original meth-distribution charge, Chief Richardson has been charged with three counts of distribution of a controlled substance, two counts of distribution of a schedule three drug and one count of possession of a firearm with a schedule one or two drug.

Virginia State Police Sgt. M.T. Conroy said Chief Richardson was arrested without incident at the Damascus Police Department on Saturday. He is free on $20,000 bail and was to be arraigned at 9 a.m. July 25 in Washington County General District Court.

“A tarnished badge is never a good thing,” Sgt. Conroy said. “I hope this doesn”t overshadow the good work police are doing throughout Virginia.”

Chief Richardson spoke about the town”s drug problem in an interview with the Bristol Herald Courier the day before his arrest.

“Methamphetamine has escalated to where we”re almost at epidemic proportions, and we”ve really got to crack down, tighten down on it, or they”re going to overtake us,” he said. “It happens a little more than you”d think.”

Chief Richardson”s arrest was the result of an undercover investigation in which a confidential informant bought meth from the chief on June 12, according to court documents. The seized drugs were sent to the state forensic lab, which confirmed it was meth, according to the Washington County Sheriff”s Office, which joined state and Abingdon police in the investigation.

Chief Richardson has been police chief in Damascus, a town of about 1,000 near the North Carolina line, for about a year. He previously was police chief at Glade Spring.


Candle on deck started house fire, officials say

Fire investigators think a citronella candle left unattended on a rear deck was responsible for a massive fire at a Fairfax County home Saturday afternoon.

The two-alarm fire started about 3:30 p.m. in the North Hill subdivision and did about $825,000 in damage. No one was injured.

A family of nine — two adults and seven children — was displaced.


Man wounded in Adams Morgan

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