Home / National News / Virginia Mayor Arrested in Sex-for-Meth Sting

 

(FAIRFAX, Va.) — The mayor of Fairfax, Virginia, was arrested Thursday night in a meth-for-sex sting, police said.

Richard “Scott” Silverthorne was arrested Thursday after he provided methamphetamine to undercover detectives at a hotel in nearby Tysons Corner, Virginia, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Police were tipped off by a citizen to a “possible distributor of methamphetamine” who was “allegedly distributing methamphetamine through a website used to arrange for casual sexual encounters between men,” the Fairfax County Police Department said in a statement.

Ed O’Carroll, director of the public affairs bureau for Fairfax County Police, said in a press conference this morning that an undercover officer had arranged a meeting with Silverthorne Thursday night at the local Crowne Plaza Hotel after connecting with the mayor on the undisclosed website. He said Silverthorne agreed to bring drugs with him to a hotel room.

Captain Jack Hardin, commander of the Organized Crime and Narcotics Division for Fairfax County Police, said that detectives were unsure how long the mayor had maintained a profile on the website, but “he had one other relationship on the website besides us.”

“Another person was on the website and the mayor and him connected through this website, and met, exchanged methamphetamine for sex,” Hardin said.

Silverthorne was charged with felony distribution of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

His lawyer, Brian Drummond, told ABC News that the mayor had no comment at this time.

Police also arrested Silverthorne’s alleged suppliers, 34-year-old Juan Jose Fernandez and 21-year-old Caustin Lee McLaughlin, both of whom reside in Maryland. A fourth person — who has not been identified — was detained and later released.

Fernandez was charged with of felony distribution of methamphetamine, felony possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. McLaughlin was charged with felony distribution of methamphetamine, felony obstruction of justice, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police said that McLaughlin resisted arrest, prompting an officer to use a non-lethal weapon against him. The mayor was compliant, police said.

Silverthorne has been released on recognizance, according to court documents. Fernandez and McLaughlin remain in police custody.

It was not immediately clear if Silverthorne, Fernandez and McLaughlin had entered pleas or retained legal counsel. Silverthorne’s arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 10.

Silverthorne is currently serving his third term as Fairfax’s mayor, according to the city’s website. Police said that he also worked as substitute teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools. A spokesman for the school system told ABC News that the mayor worked as a substitute teacher beginning in April 2016 and that “he has been terminated from his substitute teaching position.”

Chris Cohen, community relations specialist for the city of Fairfax, told ABC News, “We don’t have any comment right now. We may issue a statement at an appropriate time.”

The city of Fairfax said a city council member has been appointed acting mayor, effective immediately.

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