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Press Release

Former Virginia State Police Special Agent Convicted of Bribery, Obstruction of Justice, and Lying to the FBI Following Five Day Jury Trial

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – Shade Carlton Workman, 46, a Virginia State Police Special Agent, who was recently the commander of the Tazewell County High Intensity Drug Task Force, was convicted on Friday, March 22, 2019, following a five-day jury trial, of federal bribery, obstruction of justice, and making a false statement to a federal agent, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced.  The jury acquitted him of an additional charge of obstruction of justice and one count of using a facility of interstate commerce to commit a federal crime.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Workman, the former commander of the Tazewell County High Intensity Drug Task Force (HIDTA), a specialized multi-agency drug-enforcement unit partially funded through the National Office of Drug Control Policy, unlawfully solicited and received sexual favors from female confidential informants in exchange for agreeing to assist them with pending criminal charges.  The evidence further showed that when these female confidential informants expressed their reluctance about having sex with him, Workman regularly threatened and implied that they would face lengthy prison terms and extended separation from their children.  When the FBI interviewed Workman during the summer of 2018, he falsely denied having inappropriate or sexual relationships with confidential informants.  Although Workman had deleted text messages evidencing inappropriate sexual relationships with informants from his Virginia State Police-issued phone—and had directed multiple informants to do the same—the FBI was able to recover a large number of text messages, which the government presented at trial. 

“This defendant, who had sworn to uphold the Constitution and laws of Virginia, preyed on particularly vulnerable victims and abused the public’s trust,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated.  “His aggravated criminal conduct also dishonored the men and women of the Virginia State Police who serve our Commonwealth with bravery, honor, and distinction.  I am grateful for the FBI’s diligence and determination in investigating this corrupt cop and bringing him to justice.”

“The defendant’s conduct is certainly not indicative of the caliber and dedication of men and women who work at the Virginia State Police,” said Special Agent in Charge David W. Archey of the FBI’s Richmond Division. “Workman’s conviction demonstrates the commitment of our agencies to hold those who violate their oath accountable, and to find justice to those who place their trust in law enforcement.”            

“The Department regards every allegation related to this case as very serious and most unacceptable in nature,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As concerning as it is to have a state police employee found guilty of such criminal violations, this was an isolated situation and not representative of the respected quality and dedication demonstrated daily by our employees across the Commonwealth.” 

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Police with assistance from the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office.  United States Attorney Cullen and Assistant United States Attorneys Zachary T. Lee and Lena Busscher tried the case for the United States.

Updated March 25, 2019

Public Corruption