Police and law enforcement officers in Virginia are charged with enforcing the laws of the commonwealth. However, some police officers take advantage of their position to benefit themselves. A Virginia State Police Special Agent was accused of lying to a federal agent but after further investigation is now facing a number of criminal charges, including bribery, racketeering, and intimidating a witness.
Lying About Relationship with Confidential Informant
Shade Workman was a special agent assigned to the Tazewell County High Intensity Drug Task Force. Federal agents questioned Workman about an inappropriate sexual relationship with a drug informant. Workman denied there was any sexual relationship. Initially, Tazewell was charged with one count of lying to a federal agent.
One informant was initially arrested for shoplifting and was recruited by the state police to work as a confidential informant, assigned to Workman. Workman allegedly said to the informant that whether she did 5 busts or 500 busts, if she wanted to be with her kids, she would do things Workman's way. The informant said she had an inappropriate relationship with Workman multiple times and eventually moved from the area out of a fear that she would be required to have to engage in that relationship with Workman again.
Another informant who was arrested for shoplifting was also allegedly recruited to work with the drug task force under Workman. This other informant also said Workman had an inappropriate relationship with her, sent her photos of himself, and asked her to send nude photos to his phone. The informant also claimed Workman threatened to send her to jail if she told anyone about their relationship.
When federal investigators asked Workman if he had any inappropriate relationships with a confidential informant, Workman said “No.” He was indicted on one charge of lying to an FBI agent.
Bribery and Destroying Evidence
Later, another 11 charges were added to a 12-count indictment, which included state and federal criminal charges for
- destruction of records,
- tampering with a witness, victim, or informant,
- racketeering, and
- solicitation of prostitution.
Recruiting Informants for Minor Offenses
People charged with minor offenses like shoplifting can be intimidated by police and prosecutors to agree to work as a confidential informant. This can be used to reduce sentencing or reduced charges. However, it may involve putting the informant in a dangerous situation and any refusal to cooperate could lead back to criminal sentencing.
Before agreeing to any deal with prosecutors or agreeing to act as an informant for the police, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney. It may seem like a better deal to work for law enforcement in exchange for reduced jail time, but you may be able to get a reduced sentence without having to put yourself or your family in danger.
Charlottesville Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is arrested for a criminal charge in Charlottesville, talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your rights, possible defenses, or ways to negotiate a lighter sentence. Contact me today for a free consultation.