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Fluvanna pair should expect more charges

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Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 6:08 am | Updated: 5:39 pm, Thu Jan 24, 2013.

PALMYRA — More charges are pending against two Fluvanna men reportedly connected to about 50 burglaries in at least eight counties, officials said Monday.

In the meantime, Mark Wayne Shifflett and Ronald Lee Morris will remain in the Central Virginia Regional Jail on felony charges of possession of cocaine and unlawfully possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony. Both men were denied bond Monday morning in Fluvanna County General District Court.

“Many, many charges will be forthcoming,” said Stephanie Commander, Shifflett’s appointed attorney.

Both men were charged last week after police executed a search warrant Friday evening at their home at 153 Cedar Hill Road. Investigators seized firearms, jewelry, tools, musical equipment and electronics from the house, as well as three vehicles and a travel trailer.

The investigation involved the Fluvanna Sheriff’s Office, Bath County Sheriff’s Office and Albemarle County Police Department. Fluvanna sheriff’s Cpl. David R. Wells said investigators still are sifting through more than 200 items seized from the home and determining how to handle further charges.

“We are formulating an overall investigative plan, given the multi-jurisdiction and the sheer volume of items,” Wells said. “Not everything has been [identified] yet.”

Wells said investigators have tracked down items from the counties of Buckingham, Amherst, Nelson, Augusta, Albemarle, Bath, Madison and Greene. Police are looking into whether or not there are items from Rockingham County and West Virginia, too.

Wells said it was too early to determine the length of time over which the items were taken from their owners. For now, the items are being stored in Fluvanna and Albemarle. Authorities will get in touch with property owners when they’re able to return the items.

Morris’s court-appointed attorney, Michael Hallahan, told Judge Roger L. Morton on Monday that his client had been on probation out of Albemarle.

“There are 16 prior felony convictions, but all of them are 25 years or older,” Hallahan said.

According to court documents, Morris was charged in 1999 with violating his probation, to which he later pleaded guilty. Morris was charged with several grand larceny and breaking and entering charges in the early 1980s in Albemarle, according to court documents.

Shifflett has a pending drug case in Fluvanna Circuit Court. A grand jury handed down an indictment Dec. 18 charging him with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

Police found clonazepam they said wasn’t prescribed to Shifflett and cocaine in October, according to court records. Shifflett had been out on bond for the older drug charges when he was arrested last week, authorities said in court Monday.

“Well, Mr. Shifflett, I’m very sorry to see you here again,” Morton said after Shifflett approached the bench.

Shifflett is scheduled for a jury trial on October’s drug charges on June 12. Both men will return May 5 for a preliminary hearing on their shared charges.

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