Early Friday morning, police revealed to the public that the mayor of Fairfax City, Virginia has been arrested after he allegedly tried to pay undercover detectives for sex by giving them methamphetamine. Fairfax County Police are planning to bring charges against the mayor of the wealthy Washington suburb for what they say is a “meth-for-sex” scheme.
In a press release, the Fairfax County Police Department said that Mayor Richard “Scott” Silverthorne was arrested in the parking lot of a Crowne Plaza Hotel during an undercover operation. The police have alleged that the 50-year-old was a part of a scheme which involved offering meth in exchange for sexual encounters in a group setting with men. Mayor Silverthorne will be charged with felony distribution of methamphetamine as well as a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
The authorities shared that Silverthorne’s arrest on Thursday came after he provided the meth to the undercover detectives who had been at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Tysons Corner.
— Jeff Goldberg (@abc7jeffg) August 5, 2016
The sting operation began in late July after the police department’s Organized Crime and Narcotics Division received a tip about a possible meth distributor in the area. It is not known if the tip had named Silverthorne specifically at the time. However, Fairfax County Capt. Jack Hardin said at the news conference that the investigation showed that the suspect was allegedly using a website to distribute the meth; a site that arranged casual sex between men in exchange for the drug. The Captain declined to reveal the name of the site.
NBC News revealed that the sting operation to catch Mayor Richard “Scott” Silverthorne began with an undercover detective creating a fake profile using key information in terms of characteristics and activities that the police believed Silverthorne was seeking in someone he would be interested in.
Hardin said the fake profile worked and within two days, Silverthorne had contacted the detective, and the two of them began to communicate using text messages. The official confirmation that Silverthorne was indeed the right suspect came soon after as the mayor advised that he could “provide meth for sexual encounters.” The police got Silverthorne to agree to set up a “group sexual encounter in exchange for meth” with several undercover detectives. The mayor was set to provide the meth for what has been described as a ‘drug-fueled romp’ while the undercover detective was responsible for securing the hotel room.
When the day of the group sex party arrived, Hardin said that Silverthorne first met the detectives in the parking lot, but he did not have the drugs with him at the time as his meth supplier was running late. Once that man arrived, Silverthorne procured approximately 2 grams of meth from the supplier and handed it to one of the undercover detectives. That was when he was arrested.
According to the report from the Washington Post, Hardin said that the mayor did not resist his arrest and cooperated fully with the Fairfax County Police Department.
“He provided a full confession on everything he did that night.”
The police also arrested two other men in connection with the case as alleged meth suppliers, Juan Jose Fernandez, 34, and Caustin Lee McLaughlin, 21, both of whom originate from Maryland. Each man was charged with the same felony distribution of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia as the mayor, as well as a few other counts. All parties involved in the encounter were adults. The men were arrested and taken to the Fairfax County Jail before being turned over to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office.
— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) August 5, 2016
Silverthorne was released from jail on Thursday night without actually being booked into custody. Speculation abounds that he will now be stepping down as mayor because of this arrest.
Silverthorne won his third term as mayor of Fairfax back in May. The city is just west of Washington, D.C. and has a population of 24,000. Mayor Silverthorne’s re-election campaign occurred during a rough time for him as he had been diagnosed with and was receiving treatments for the aggressive but non-lethal cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, and he had also had to file for bankruptcy last September after he lost his home to foreclosure.
In his re-election speech, Silverthorne praised his city and spoke of how his winning made him feel.
“The city of Fairfax made me the comeback mayor.”
[Image via Fairfax County Police]