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Fentanyl-toting men plead guilty in Albemarle court to machine gun and drug charges

Two men accused of driving around with a machine gun and the lethal drug fentanyl have pleaded guilty and received prison sentences.

Peter Caleb Wells, a 24-year-old Charlottesville resident, and Takeem Latrell Brock, a 23-year-old resident of Waynesboro, separately pleaded guilty in the case in Albemarle County Circuit Court.

According to court records, the two were stopped by police last spring after a 911 caller reportedly complained of getting chased by someone with a gun inside a car with "messed up paint."

It isn’t clear from the criminal complaint precisely how the May 27 chase transpired, but by the time investigating Albemarle County police officer T.M. Morris responded, another officer had just stopped a vehicle matching the description after it allegedly blew through a traffic light in the vicinity of Rio Road and Hillsdale Drive.

"I asked the occupants if there were any firearms inside the vehicle," Morris asserted. "They said no."

Morris contended that he asked Wells to step outside the vehicle for a pat-down, and it was only then that Wells conceded that he did have a firearm.

"I removed a loaded Glock 19x from Wells’ waistband," wrote Morris. "I placed him in cuffs."

After seizing that 9mm pistol, police brought in a sniffing dog which then alerted officers to drugs, according to Morris, who assisted in seizing a backpack containing blue pills, white pills, baggies of white powder and another firearm.

The second firearm was a Glock with a fully automatic switch to its rear, he reported. Under Virginia law, that counts as a machine gun.

Both men have pleaded guilty to having a machine gun for aggressive purposes in addition to charges of drug distribution.

"The quantities are way more than single use amounts," wrote Morris.

On Feb, 20, Wells received a year and six months on the machine gun charge and a suspended sentence on his drug distribution felony guilty plea. Brock’s sentence occurred late last year, on Nov. 28, when he got a year and nine months on his machine gun charge while his drug charges brought a fully suspended five-year sentence.

An analysis of the seized drugs by the commonwealth’s crime lab measured 1.3 grams of powder cocaine and nearly 13 grams of crack cocaine. Additionally, the report said the two men were traveling that day with 78 pills marked as oxycodone but which tested positive for fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s lethal in extremely small doses. The report also asserted that 13 additional pills marked as percocet also contained fentanyl.

In 2022, the latest full year with data, there were 29 synthetic opioid deaths in Charlottesville and Albemarle with 1,967 deaths statewide, nearly twice as many as died in automobile accidents.


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