Nelson County Sheriff's Office

  • Agency: Nelson County Sheriff's Office
  • Address: 84 Court House Square, Lovingston, 22949 VA
  • Chief:
Phone: 434-263-7050
Fax: 434-263-7056

Nelson County Sheriff's Office is located at 84 Court House Square, Lovingston, 22949 VA. The Nelson County Sheriff's Office phone number is 434-263-7050.

Nelson County Sheriff's Office News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: May 29, 2018 Racketeering and Drug Distribution Guilty Plea From: DANIEL L. RUTHERFORD, NELSON COUNTY COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY Tuesday afternoon Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel Rutherford announced that on May 29, 2018, Otis L. Knapp, Jr. pled guilty to one count of racketeering as well as several counts of drug distribution, possession, and a firearm charge. This case is a continuation of the vigorous prosecution of those who distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in Nelson County. From December 2015 until March 2016, Mr. Knapp would transport over one pound of methamphetamine per month from Atlanta, GA to the Central Virginia area and then distributed methamphetamine to individuals in Nelson and the surrounding counties. The sentencing for Otis L. Knapp, Jr. will occur on October 15, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.. These charges stem from a lengthy investigation by the Virginia State Police and the Skyline Task Force, which is composed of investigators from the Nelson County Sheriff's Office, Waynesboro Police Department, Staunton Police Department, Augusta County Sheriff's Office, and Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Appomattox Field Office. “This case became a priority when I took office. Those involved in investigating this complex case poured their hearts into it and saw this case to completion. I am honored to be given the opportunity to work alongside those in the law enforcement community and I will continue to vigorously prosecute those who distribute drugs.” Daniel Rutherford Commonwealth’s Attorney Nelson County

****** Press Release UPDATE****** 5/17/2018 2:10 p.m. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office have charged two individuals from Lovingston, Virginia; Scott Lewis Campbell Jr. (29 years of age) and Janine M. Hanna (59 years of age). Both individuals have been charged with drug offenses stemming from a three-month investigation related to the deaths of two women in Nelson County. Campbell and Hanna have been charged with Distribution of Morphine and Conspiracy to Distribute Drugs. Campbell and Hanna are being held with bond at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. "Drugs are a serious threat to any community and the costs to our citizens are high. With the resources provided, we put forth great effort into protecting our citizens. Through the collaborative efforts of law enforcement and aggressive prosecution, we hope to send a clear message that this activity will not be tolerated in Nelson County." Sheriff David W. Hill Previous Releases Original Release dated 2/13/2018 The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of two individuals in the area of Ridge LN, Lovingston, VA. At the moment, there are no safety concerns for the public. There is no further information at this time. Update 2/14/2018 On 2/13/2018 the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office responded to Lovingston Ridge Apartments after receiving a report of two (2) bodies being found inside one of the units. The bodies have been identified as Deborah Lee Bruce (60 years of age) of Bedford Virginia and Patricia Michelle Bruce (38 years of age) of Lovingston Virginia. The two females were found deceased inside the apartment at approximately 10:51AM. Foul play was not evident at the scene; however, the investigation is ongoing. The bodies have been sent to the medical examiner’s office for examination. When further information becomes available, a release will be issued. Update 5/15/2018 The deaths of Deborah Lee Bruce (60 years of age) and Michelle Bruce (38 years of age) have been preliminarily ruled “Accidental Overdose” by the Medical Examiner’s Office of Richmond. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office will continue to actively stem the sale and use of illegal narcotics in our community. We ask the community for continued support by always reporting suspicious or illegal activities.

****** Press Release. UPDATE****** 5/15/2018 The deaths of Deborah Lee Bruce (60 years of age) and Michelle Bruce (38 years of age) have been preliminarily ruled “Accidental Overdose” by the Medical Examiner’s Office of Richmond. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office will continue to actively stem the sale and use of illegal narcotics in our community. We ask the community for continued support by always reporting suspicious or illegal activities. Sheriff David W. Hill Previous Releases Original Release dated 2/13/2018 The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of two individuals in the area of Ridge LN, Lovingston, VA. At the moment, there are no safety concerns for the public. There is no further information at this time. Update 2/14/2018 On 2/13/2018 the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office responded to Lovingston Ridge Apartments after receiving a report of two (2) bodies being found inside one of the units. The bodies have been identified as Deborah Lee Bruce (60 years of age) of Bedford Virginia and Patricia Michelle Bruce (38 years of age) of Lovingston Virginia. The two females were found deceased inside the apartment at approximately 10:51AM. Foul play was not evident at the scene; however, the investigation is ongoing. The bodies have been sent to the medical examiner’s office for examination. When further information becomes available, a release will be issued. If you have further questions about this release, please contact Captain R.B. New via email at rnew@nelsoncounty.org.

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Congratulations to Rosemary and Brenda on their retirement!!

PRESS RELEASE NELSON COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE: 3/21/18 During the early morning hours of 3/21/18 the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office apprehended a wanted felon being sought for a string of burglaries in Central Virginia. Deputies with the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office came into contact with Samuel Isaac Hunter, W/M age 38 of Roseland Virginia, in the 3000 block of Lowesville Road in the Piney River area. Hunter attempted to conceal his identity by providing false information to law enforcement. Deputies were able to identify Hunter as being a suspect wanted on several charges relating to burglary and larceny in Nelson, Amherst and Bedford Counties. When deputies attempted to arrest Hunter, a short foot chase ensued. Hunter jumped into the river while attempting to escape custody. Deputies were able to arrest Hunter in the area of the Piney River Moose Lodge. Hunter was transported to the Lynchburg ER as a precautionary measure for minor injuries relating to exposure to the cold. Deputies obtained warrants for Fleeing from Law Enforcement and Assuming a False ID. Additional charges are possible pending further investigation. These warrants along with other outstanding arrest warrants were later served by Lynchburg Police Department at the hospital. No further information is being released at this time.

Congratulations, Sheriff Hill!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/13/2017 11:59 a.m. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of two individuals in the area of Ridge LN, Lovingston, VA. At the moment, there are no safety concerns for the public. There is no further information at this time.

Press Release 2/9/18 At the time of this release, per the request of the Nelson County Public Schools administration, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching the Nelson County High School complex with drug sniffing dogs. This type of operation would not be possible without the inter-agency cooperation of surrounding jurisdictions and state agencies. The Nelson County High School is following their operational procedures to conduct the search. This operation is to ensure the continued safety of our students, faculty and staff who attend this school every day.

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December 5, 2017 the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office was excited to honor 5th Grade students from Tye River Elementary and Rockfish River Elementary Schools for their completion of a 10 week D.A.R.E. course. Each of these students worked extremely hard, covering topics such as decision making, risks, stress, communication, bullying, peer pressure and drug awareness. Students learned about the DARE Decision Making Model (D.D.M.M). At the conclusion of the course, each 5th grade student had the opportunity to participate in a D.A.R.E essay competition. The essay topic was to cover what they learned about D.A.R.E and why it’s important to them.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE:​December 6, 2017 RE:​Indictments from a Nelson County Grand Jury FROM:​DANIEL L RUTHERFORD, NELSON COUNTY COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY; DAVID W. HILL, NELSON COUNTY SHERIFF. ​​​ CONTACT:​434-263-7010 ​Wednesday afternoon Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel Rutherford and Nelson County Sheriff David Hill announced that a Nelson County Grand Jury returned true bills on November 27, 2017 against Timothy Tyson Ramsey and Miranda Sue Harris for their role in the death of Samantha Rena Tyree, which occurred in May 2016. Both Ramsey and Harris are indicted on one count of accidentally killing Samantha Rena Tyree while in the commission of a felony, which was giving or distributing methamphetamine to Samantha Rena Tyree. Ramsey and Harris are also each charged with one count of feloniously concealing a dead body and distribution of methamphetamine. The range of punishment for the indictment alleging felony murder is by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 40 years. The range of punishment for the indictment alleging feloniously concealing a dead body is for not less than one year nor more than five years. The range of punishment for the indictment alleging the distribution of methamphetamine is by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 40 years. Charges contained in the indictments are simply accusations and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence. This case is being prosecuted by Daniel L. Rutherford, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the County of Nelson, and Erik Laub, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the County of Nelson. It was investigated by the Nelson County Sheriff's Office.

Update: Counterfeit Money The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Citizens of Nelson for helping to identify the suspect seen passing counterfeit money in Nellysford. Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office were able to use these tips to bring successful resolution to the case. Indictments are pending against the man seen in the footage.

*Update: Counterfeit Money The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Citizens of Nelson for helping to identify the suspect seen passing counterfeit money in Nellysford. Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office were able to use these tips to bring successful resolution to the case. Indictments are pending against the man seen in the footage. November 22, 2017 The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident of larceny and attempted fraud by uttering counterfeit US Currency at a Nellysford, VA business. The Sheriff’s Office has obtained photos of the suspect which committed these crimes and is asking for your assistance in identifying him. He is a white male, 5’7” – 6’ tall. If you have information regarding the individual in the photos, please contact Investigator J.P. Tabler of The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at 434-263-7066. Nelson County TimesBlue Ridge Life Magazine

Skyline Drug Task Force Arrests Waynesboro Man On Cocaine, Heroin and Gun Charges Waynesboro, Va. – On 20 November, 2017, members of the Skyline Drug Task Force and the Waynesboro Police SWAT Team conducted simultaneous search warrants at two locations in the city. First, the SWAT Team executed a search warrant at a residence in the 600 block of King Avenue. Task Force members then immediately executed a second search warrant on a vehicle parked in the 400 block of Shiloh Avenue. The target of both searches was Kelvin Jaray Sease, a 28 year old Waynesboro resident. Police netted more than $19,000 in cash, approximately 3 ounces of cocaine, several grams of heroin and a loaded Glock 9mm handgun from the vehicle on Shiloh Avenue. The street value of the cocaine is approximately $3,750 and the street value of the heroin is approximately $200. Sease was arrested at the scene on King Avenue and charged with possession of a controlled substance, possess with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Sease is currently being held at the Middle River Regional Jail without bond. The Skyline Drug Task Force is composed of investigators from the Waynesboro Police Department, Staunton, Virginia Police Department, Augusta County Sheriff's Office - Sheriff Donald L. Smith, Nelson County Sheriff's Office - Sheriff David W. Hill and Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Appomattox Field Office.

Over the past week or so numerous concerns have been expressed by parents with students attending Nelson County High School. My staff and I have taken the time to listen to these concerns, while also keeping in mind that these parents want their children to be safe. From what we have gathered and received, a majority of the information has been hearsay. I must say, we value our community's willingness to pass on this information to us. I feel they trust our office and feel comfortable expressing these concerns. Often we have to sort through the information and figure out the true facts surrounding incidents. We live in a fast paced world these days and information can become twisted in a matter of seconds, so we often have to weed through rumors. With the assistance of our Board of Supervisors and School Board, we currently employ an SRO (School Resource Officer) that is very active in the high school. Virginia State Troopers are also very active in our community, often conducting"walk throughs" in our schools, just like our Field Operations Units. If criminal acts are attempted or occur on school premises, our SRO and Field Operations Units work alongside the administrative staff of Nelson County Public Schools to ensure charges are brought forth if one constitutes. I am aware that Nelson County Public Schools has a threat assessment policy that sets forth guidelines regarding threats. These policies guide staff on validating threats and addressing said issues. If necessary, our office is then contacted and depending upon the information gathered, charges follow if a crime has been committed. I assure you that my office takes the safety of our students and community very seriously. Discipline within the school system is ultimately up to the school division. Due to confidentiality of students/juveniles, it is not common practice for a school system to broadcast discipline measures if implemented. I cannot stress enough, when a concern is presented to our staff regarding our schools, we will do our best to gather the facts and respond appropriately to ensure their safety. If you have further school concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your student’s school administrators, superintendent, school board, and our office if you feel a criminal act has taken or will likely take place. Thank you, David Hill Sheriff Nelson County, VA

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE:​November 3, 2017 RE:​Racketeering and Drug Distribution Guilty Pleas ​On October 31, 2017, Laura Grado-Ortega pled guilty to one count of Racketeering in the Nelson County Circuit Court. This was the first time a defendant has been charged with and found guilty of Racketeering in Nelson County. From March 2016 until September 2016, Laura Grado-Ortega facilitated shipments of more than two pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico into Nelson County and wired proceeds from drug sales to individuals in Mexico. Connected with Grado-Ortega, another defendant, Alma Silva, pled guilty to one count of distribution of more than 100 grams of methamphetamine on October 6, 2017. From January 2016 until September 2016, Silva facilitated the distribution of methamphetamine to individuals in Nelson County and wired the proceeds from drug sales to individuals in Mexico. The sentencing for Laura Grado-Ortega and Alma Silva will occur in the early part of 2018. ​These charges stem from a lengthy investigation by the Skyline Task Force, which is composed of investigators from the Nelson County Sheriff's Department, Waynesboro Police Department, Staunton Police Department, Augusta County Sheriff's Department, Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Appomattox Field Office, Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. “I am proud of the work that the Skyline Task Force put into these cases. They did a tremendous job investigating this complex network of individuals who were distributing methamphetamine in Nelson County. I was honored to be given the opportunity to work alongside the men and women of the Skyline Task Force in prosecuting these cases.” Daniel Rutherford Commonwealth’s Attorney Nelson County”

Release: 9/21/17 Law enforcement officials from across the region gathered in Waynesboro Thursday to talk up ReportADrugDealer.com, an online reporting tool being used to combat illicit drug sales. The website is a public service of the Skyline Drug Task Force, which includes representatives of the Virginia State Police, police departments in Staunton and Waynesboro, and sheriff’s offices in Augusta County and Nelson County. All tips provided through the website are anonymous, akin to the methodology behind CrimeStoppers, according to Waynesboro Police Chief Michael Wilhelm. “We don’t require them to provide us with any information. Of course, if they do want to provide us with information, we’ll follow up with that. But, it’s just like CrimeStoppers. It’s 100 percent anonymous, and we’re not trying to track the person down to obtain additional information on them,” said Wilhelm, whose department is working with Greater Augusta Prevention Partners to spearhead the effort. A soft launch of the website last year “yielded an unexpectedly high volume of community input,” said Keith Keesee, the captain of Bureau of Criminal Investigation in the Appomattox Field Office of the Virginia State Police. As tips started to roll in, the Task Force came to realize that the online reporting tool could provide “a valuable technological tool to leverage against the growing drug threat,” Keesee said. Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith cited the positive early response as prompting Task Force members to get to work behind the scenes to build something that could serve the wider region. “All the IT departments got together in the different jurisdictions to make sure that we could separate the information coming in, that we could see it and determine whether the Task Force needs to work on it, or whether it needs to go back to the individual agencies,” Smith said. There are safeguards in place to ensure that people don’t use the anonymity of the web to harass neighbors. “We deal with that fairly often,” Staunton Police Chief Jim Williams said. “There’s a reason that, legally, just because somebody calls in and says, my neighbor is dealing drugs, we don’t get a search warrant and barge in. We’re actually pretty proficient in figuring out when people are doing exactly that, harassing their neighbors. It’s one piece of a puzzle in a case.” The piece in the puzzle can be key to allow law enforcement to connect the dots. “Tips are huge,” Williams said. “When you’re putting a drug case together, it’s like a puzzle. I can tell you many times over my law enforcement career, you just need that last piece. Sometimes that’s an anonymous tip. And sometimes we’ve had tips that totally come out of the blue, where you’ve never heard of this person before, and then investigative techniques follow through, and you make a significant case. So, they’re huge. We need to hear from the public, and this is just one more way for us to hear from the public.” Nelson County Sheriff David Hill stressed that point – on collaboration with the public. “One thing that I like to tell our community in Nelson County is, law enforcement officers and agencies as a whole can only be as strong as the community allows us to be,” Hill said. “With this initiative, and getting that out there, in the technological world that we live in, it allows people to get that information to us without speaking face-to-face or by phone. So, there’s somewhat of a disconnect, but we’re still connected. That’s one of the positives of it.” Keesee said it is his hope that “members of the community will utilize this program to help in our continued efforts” to combat drug-related crimes. “A community working together with police authorities to combat illegal drug-related crimes is not only helpful, but in many cases, in our realm of work, is necessary to accomplishing our mission,” Keesee said.

Congratulations to VSP Trooper Hackenbracht and Deputy Sanchez for being honored last night with the MADD "Mothers Against Drunk Driving" award. Both individuals led their agencies in drunk and drugged driving arrests for 2016. Thank you for keeping our citizens safe!

Press Release: 9/10/17 During the early morning hours of September 10th, 2017, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a possible home invasion in the area of Cosby Hollow Lane, Schuyler Virginia. Sometime around 3:00AM EST unidentified suspect(s) entered the home. The homeowner confronted the intruders and a struggle ensued. The homeowner, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries was tied up and several items to include firearms were taken from the home. The homeowner was able to free himself after the intruders left and called 911. Nelson County Investigators processed the scene and evidence was collected. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office is following up on leads. If you have any information about this crime you are asked to contact the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office. No further information is available at this time. If you have further questions about this release, please contact Captain R.B. New via email at rnew@nelsoncounty.org.