Former GOP Virginia lawmaker, Matt Fariss arrested again; faces felony gun and drug charges

Mar 24, 2024, 1:47 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A former Virginia lawmaker was arrested over the weekend on felony gun and drug charges and a misdemeanor charge of violating a protective order, according to a sheriff’s office official and jail records.

Matt Fariss, who had served in the House of Delegates as a Republican since 2012 before running unsuccessfully last year as an independent, was booked at a Blue Ridge Regional Jail facility early Sunday, online jail records show.

He faces charges of possession of a Schedule I or II drug, a felony, possession of a Schedule I or II drug while possessing a firearm, also a felony, and misdemeanor violation of a protective order, Lt. Jarrett Rea of the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office said by phone.

Rea said that apart from confirming the charges, which were also listed in jail records, he had no other details to share about the allegations against Fariss or what led to his arrest. He said more information would likely be available Monday.

It was not immediately clear if Fariss had an attorney who could comment on his behalf. None was listed in court or jail records, and Rea could not say whether Fariss had obtained one. Jail records indicated Fariss remained in custody Sunday afternoon.

Jail records list a court date for Fariss on Monday though no date was immediately reflected in the state’s online court system.

The development came just weeks after Fariss was acquitted of felony hit-and-run and malicious wounding charges after being accused last year of striking his ex-girlfriend with his SUV after they had argued. Fariss — of Campbell County, just outside of Lynchburg — was convicted of a less serious charge of improper driving and ordered to pay a $500 fine.

Chuck Felmlee, the defense attorney who represented Fariss in that case, did not immediately respond to inquiries left at his office Sunday.

News of Fariss’ arrest was reported earlier by Cardinal News.

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Former GOP Virginia lawmaker, Matt Fariss arrested again; faces felony gun and drug charges