Monday, May 23, 2022

Man given 4-year active prison sentence in mobile meth lab case

Robert Copley Jr. (Courtesy JCCPD)
Robert Copley Jr. (Courtesy JCCPD)

A James City County man will serve four years in jail — and has 26 more hanging over his head — for manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine.

A judge sentenced 39-year-old Robert Copley Jr. Wednesday to 30 years in prison with all but four years suspended, according to online Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court records.

Copley pleaded guilty to two felony drug charges Dec. 20. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped two felony drug charges, documents state.

As part of his sentence, Copley’s operator’s license will be suspended for 6 months.

Copley was arrested in the parking lot of the Norge Farm Fresh Aug. 9 after he fled a house where the Tri Rivers Drug Task Force was executing a search warrant, according to police.

While executing the search warrant, police saw a vehicle driven by “a relative,” later identified as Copley, pull up to the residence located in the 100 block of Tarbark Lane, then flee the scene. Police pulled Copley over in the parking lot of Farm Fresh, located at 115 Norge Lane.

Police said they found “byproducts consistent with the production of methamphetamines,” in both Copley’s vehicle and at the house, including evidence indicating methamphetamine production in a shed.

A lab test filed in circuit court shows about .2318 grams of power found in Copley’s possession tested positive for methamphetamine.

Sean Copley (Courtesy JCCPD)
Sean Copley (Courtesy JCCPD)

Copley’s brother, Sean Copley, was also charged in connection with the methamphetamine production. He is scheduled for a plea hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court.

A third man accused in the incident, Byron Wade Davis, 44, pleaded guilty in January, court records show. He will be sentenced in March 2019 as part of a deferred disposition.

Court records show Copley was also arrested Oct. 6, 2016 after he was involved in a crash in York County. Police said he and a woman, Jennifer Kendrick, were operating a mobile meth lab out of the minivan involved in the accident.

In April 2017, prosecutors agreed to drop three felony charges against Copley, finding him guilty of one charge of possession of marijuana.

Copley avoided jail time for the Oct. 6, 2016 arrest after a judge suspended his entire 12-month sentence.

WYDaily archives were used in this story.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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