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It’s Like A Scooby Doo Mystery! Only Without Ghosts. Or A VW Van. Or Daphne. Or A Resolution.

On the first of April 2009, I posted a news report about the arrest of Joniel Renere Edwards by Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement. I’d actually been watching for media coverage of the incident because, well, I’d actually watched the incident. Since I knew no reporters had been at the scene, and the NBC29 tidbit was so bland, I’d guessed they’d gotten their information ala JADE press release. When WCAV and Daily Progress published their versions the rewrite factor only became all the more obvious.

The thing was, the information didn’t match what I’d witnessed. The most glaring discrepancy was the timeline. The dates made no sense. Plus, does this picture look like it was taken at nine o’clock at night?

I got to thinking maybe there were two takedowns around then and I’d just missed one. So I tried checking that theory out. The name -- Edwards -- and location -- Monticello Rd. -- seemed correct. Charlottesville’s General District Court listed 03/31/2009 as the offense date but 04/01/2009 as the arrest date.

If the details had come from the JADE Task Force, how come they’d lie about when their drug operation took place? If they had to fib about particulars, why even bother alerting the public that it happened at all? It’s not exactly a bragalicious event, as if they’d seized kilos of cocaine or rid the area of a notorious murdering gangsta’.

Three days later I published my account of the bust. In it, I called no attention to any of the above, though I did mention “as if the case isn’t mysterious enough, the news coming in about it baffles me beyond belief.”

Today I read the following.
County man pleads guilty to drug charge; could get 40 years
From staff reports
Published: January 13, 2010

An Albemarle County man is facing prison time for selling crack cocaine to a police informant.

Joniel Renere Edwards, 26, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Charlottesville Circuit Court to possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. Edwards faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced June 30.

Joseph Platania, assistant commonwealth’s attorney, said in court that an informant for the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force purchased about 53 ounces of crack cocaine for $2,800 on March 31. Edwards was arrested as he left a Monticello Road apartment. Platania said in court that authorities found more than 40 grams of crack cocaine in the freezer in Edwards’ home.

According to court records, Edwards has pleaded not guilty to a similar charge in Albemarle Circuit Court and will stand trial on Jan 19.
Sheesh. The Daily Progress wasn’t even consistent with its own earlier piece. And what are the chances anyone got 53 ounces of crack at that cost? Brings a-whole-nother meaning to “rock-bottom prices,” eh? Also, the “similar charge” is the exact same charge -- something I learned when I searched Albemarle Circuit Court records. The difference is, while the offense date is identical to the City of Charlottesville’s, the County arrested Mr. Edwards for this alleged felony on 08/30/2009. The best explanation I’ve for Cville and Albemarle prosecutors ganging up on Edwards after that much time passing is JADE members must’ve feigned being in fear for their lives.