Convicted drug dealer granted bond after police chase and more drug charges

Watchful Eye
Chawn D. BealePhoto byMiddle Peninsula Security Center

A convicted drug dealer who led police on a chase last month before getting hit with more drug charges was granted bond although the 29-year-old is set to be hit with more even more charges.

Essex Sheriff Arnie Holmes announced that Chawn D. Beale Jr. was arrested on February 24 after a 2-month investigation into an operation involving “large amounts of heroin and cocaine being brought out of the City of Richmond into Essex County.”

Police tried to arrest Beale in the parking lot of Watts Supermarket but he fled, according to Sheriff Holmes. In an attempt to get away, he was dodging police units and headed west on Rt. 360 in the eastbound lanes.

After authorities boxed him in and removed him from the vehicle, over $4,000 worth of cocaine and over $3,000 of heroin was recovered along with $3,000 in cash. This incident led to the eastbound lanes of Rt. 360, a heavily-traveled route, being shut down.

Beale was charged with narcotics distribution, felony eluding, driving while revoked, reckless driving and resisting arrest and held in the Middle Peninsula Regional Security Center in Saluda with no bond until Judge Herbert Hewitt changed that last week.

Beale pled guilty to distribution of crack cocaine in a federal drug trafficking case in 2014 that involved the arrest of five men. He was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release, information from the U.S. attorney’s office shows.

In court last week, Beale’s attorney acknowledged that conviction, referring to it as charge that is “seven or eight years old” as well as a separate grand larceny conviction.

But the attorney said his client “has no crimes of violence or issues with failures to appear.” He also argued his client should be released because he’s the sole caretaker of his 80-year-old father and has a daughter who is age 8.

Essex County Commonwealth Attorney Vincent Donoghue asked the court not to grant bond. He argued that Beale’s grand larceny conviction was just in 2021. And “it appears he has at least one, and possibly two, probation violations while on federal probation.” Donoghue also noted that three more drug distribution charges are going to be filed against Beale.

Judge Hewitt cited Beale’s “limited” criminal background, and he was granted a $5,000. Beale will also be subject to drug testing while he’s awaiting trial.

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