Searches Lead to Drug, Gun Charges
Thursday, June 15, 2006
It started as a routine traffic stop on a Monday afternoon in the Chantilly area. By that night, according to police, it had turned into the discovery of large amounts of marijuana, cash and high-powered weapons at three locations in Fairfax and Prince William counties.
Officer Kristi D. Kiernan of Fairfax's Sully District police station started the chain of events last week when she pulled over an unidentified vehicle about 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Sully and Willard roads. The tinting of the car's windows was too dark, Lt. Richard Perez said, and Kiernan had decided to check it out.
In a search warrant affidavit and other court records, police gave this account of what followed:
A young woman was driving the vehicle, and there were two adult male passengers. Kiernan looked inside, spotted "marijuana residue" and called for a drug-sniffing dog, which "alerted" on the car. Police then found marijuana residue inside a cellphone box in the car.
Also inside that box was $8,716 in cash, according to the court records.
Because of the combination of marijuana and cash, police suspected drug dealing. The two passengers -- Jedidiah M. Cummings, 24, and Jason A. Whittington, 26, both of Centreville -- were arrested. Police found a hotel key card in Whittington's possession, and Cummings allegedly told the police the men had stayed at the Extended Stay Deluxe Hotel in Chantilly, according to the court documents.
At the hotel, according to the court records, police seized "large quantities" of marijuana, scales, pills, assorted handguns, boxes of ammunition and body armor. Police then tracked down the person who had rented the hotel room, who pointed them to Whittington's house on Golden Oak Road in Centreville. A second search warrant was obtained.
Inside that house, police found more marijuana and pills, another gun and more cash, according to the court records.
Later that same night, with the help of Manassas police, investigators obtained a third search warrant, for a storage unit at the United Stor-All on Sunnygate Drive. This time, no drugs were found -- but there was an SKS assault rifle and a MAC-11 machine pistol with a silencer, among other firearms, according to the court records.
When all the searches were completed, court records say, police had found about 10 pounds of marijuana, 14 guns and more than $10,000 in cash, as well as cocaine and ecstasy. Whittington, who has previously been convicted of marijuana dealing in Prince William, and Cummings were charged with various felony drug and gun charges and are being held in the Fairfax jail without bond.
Perez credited the "persistence and intuition" of Kiernan for turning an unremarkable traffic stop into the seizure of a "cache of weapons and drugs.''