For many things, the third time's the charm. But if Centreville's Wayne Price receives a third conviction for distributing cocaine, he could be sentenced to as much as life in prison.
He was arrested and charged with this offense, Feb. 6, by Virginia State Police Sgt. Kevin Coffman of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force. Price, 45, lives at 13728 Winding Oak Circle, No. 202, near the Pickwick Square Shopping Center along Route 29.
Coffman, stationed in Warren County, explained details of the case against Price in a Feb. 7 affidavit for a search warrant to seek possible evidence in the Centreville man's apartment. And he wrote that authorities in both Fairfax and Warren counties have had their eyes on Price.
During December, Coffman developed a confidential informant — an admitted, illegal-drug user who, wrote Coffman, "made statements against his/her own penal interest." And, he added, information provided to him from this informant has proven true and accurate.
According to Coffman, this person told him that Price was allegedly "a current distributor of cocaine in Warren County." So in December, Coffman reportedly had him/her make a controlled cocaine purchase from Price in that county.
Coffman provided the informant with State Police "buy funds," and the drug task force monitored him/her during a meeting with Price. "A short time later ... [the informant] relinquished to [me] a quantity of suspected cocaine," wrote Coffman.
During November, Coffman had developed another confidential informant, similar to the other one, who, wrote Coffman, also advised him that Price was allegedly a current distributor of cocaine in Warren County.
THEN IN JANUARY, Investigator Kahle Magalis of the Warren County Sheriff's Department directed both the informants to make a controlled purchase of cocaine from Price in that county. He supplied them with "buy funds" from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The drug task force monitored them while they met with Price. Afterward, wrote Coffman, they turned over to Magalis a substance that later reportedly "tested positive as cocaine." Then on Feb. 6, Coffman arrested Price and charged him with distribution of cocaine relating to the alleged controlled buy in January.
Also involved in the case is Det. Christian Quinn of the Fairfax County Police Organized Crime and Narcotics Division. In January, he met with Price in his Centreville apartment and met separately with a concerned citizen who has previously given him valid and accurate information. Wrote Coffman: "The [citizen] advised Det. Quinn that Wayne Price was [allegedly] a current distributor of cocaine in Fairfax County."
Coffman also conducted a criminal-history check of Price through the National Criminal Information Center and the Virginia Criminal Information Network and learned that he has prior convictions for possession of cocaine and two counts of distribution of cocaine. As a result, if Price is convicted of cocaine distribution for a third time, he could receive a mandatory, three years in prison and could be sentenced to anywhere from five years to life.
In his affidavit, Coffman sought a warrant to look for written documents pertaining to the illegal distribution of narcotics, such as lists of names of customers and suppliers, plus records of money received and owed.
He executed the search warrant on Feb. 7, and police seized various documents, pills, five cell phones and a scanner. They also confiscated $1,460 in cash from a drawer beside the kitchen sink and $1,860 from a purse on the kitchen counter.