Crime and Public Safety

Roanoke County Fire and Rescue responded at 11:08 a.m. on Thursday, February 1, 2024, to the 5600 block of Starkey Road, in the Clearbrook area, for the report of a residential structure fire. The first arriving units were Fire Marshal 4 and Medic 7 who found smoke showing from the side of a two-story house and marked it a working fire. The house was occupied by one adult and a cat at the time of the fire. The fire was brought under control in about 15 minutes. The adult occupant was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the cat was found deceased. The resident of the home will be displaced. The Roanoke County Fire Marshal’s Office is on scene to investigate a cause and provide a damage estimate.

Ian Price photos

“It Only Takes One” pill to get addicted. That’s the prevention message that First Lady Suzanne Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares brought to Roanoke today. Miyares mentioned how among metro areas — Roanoke has been hit hardest by overdose deaths per capita. We will have more about the “It Only Takes One” campaign tomorrow morning during the Roanoke Valley’s Morning News from 6 to 9am.

Photo courtesy Virginia State Police

(from Virginia State Police) On January 19, 2024, members of the Star City Drug and Violent Crime Task Force conducted a narcotics interdiction at the Roanoke/Blacksburg Regional Airport in the City of Roanoke. Task force members discovered two suspicious pieces of luggage on an inbound passenger flight. A narcotics K-9 was used, and members received a positive alert on the two pieces of luggage.

Task Force members obtained and executed a search warrant on the two bags and the luggage was found to contain 33 pounds of illegal marijuana. The marijuana was seized, and a suspect was identified. This incident is still under investigation.  The Star City Drug and Violent Crime Task Force is Comprised of the City of Roanoke Police Department, Salem City Police Department, The Roanoke County Police Department and the Virginia State Police.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, served an arrest and a search warrant in the 100 block of Trinkle Ave, NW, around 8 this morning. 19-year-old Jefferson Sanchez of Roanoke was taken into custody and charged with Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle, stemming from an investigation in June 2023, where Sanchez fired a weapon into vehicle on Interstate 581. Multiple agencies including the Star City Violent Crime Task Force were involved in this morning’s arrest.

(news release) At 8:00 a.m. on January 16, 2024, the Virginia State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, served an arrest warrant and a search warrant in the 100 block of Trinkle Ave, NW, in the City of Roanoke. Jefferson Alexander Sanchez, 19, of Roanoke, Va., was taken into custody and charged with Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle.  The charge stems from an investigation which began in June of 2023, where Sanchez fired a weapon into vehicle traveling on Interstate 581 in the City of Roanoke.
Sanchez was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Roanoke City Jail.  Please contact the Roanoke City Jail for a mug shot if needed. Additional charges are pending. The agencies involved in the arrest were: Virginia State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, General Investigation Section, Drug Enforcement Section. Virginia State Police, Bureau of Field Operations, Salem Office. Virginia State Police Special Operations Division. The City of Roanoke Police Department, Gang Unit.
The Star City Violent Crime Task Force. (VSP, Roanoke City PD, Roanoke County PD, Salem PD and Vinton PD).

(from VSP) BEDFORD CO, Va. – Virginia State Police is investigating a single-vehicle crash, which resulted in a fatality. The crash occurred today (Jan 16) at 12:10 a.m. on Route 757, one half of a mile north of Route 635 in Bedford County. A 2000 GMC pickup truck was traveling south on Route 757, when the vehicle ran off the left side of the roadway and over an embankment, striking the trees. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Kohl Patrick Lambert, 21, of Bedford, Va. Mr. Lambert was wearing his seatbelt and died at the scene. The crash is still under investigation.

Roanoke has been listed as the “Poorest Big City” in Virginia. A Yahoo Finance article listed the “poorest” large towns in every state has Roanoke, Virginia with a population just over 99,000, a Median Household Income of $51,523, a Percentage of Population Below Poverty Level at 19.11 percent, and Per Capita Income at $33,206.

(from Roanoke PD) Roanoke Police are investigating a report of an explosive at Crystal Spring Elementary School. The call came in at approximately 2:30 p.m. on January 11, [today]. The caller alleged that there was an explosive at the school, then hung up. As officers were responding, the call was traced to a residence in the City of Roanoke.

It was determined that the caller was a juvenile male. Our investigation indicates that the child had no means to carry out the threat and there was never a danger to school staff or students.  Detectives are working with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Roanoke City Public Schools, and the Roanoke Sheriff’s Office to resolve this situation. This is an ongoing investigation and no further details can be provided at this time.

(Updated 1/5 3pm) State Police is investigating a fatal crash which occurred at 5:09 a.m. this morning on Route 220, near Aviator Dr. The crash involved a tractor trailer, which was illegally parked on the right shoulder of Route 220, when it was struck in the rear by a Jeep SUV. The SUV and the trailer caught fire after the collision, causing both to completely burn. The roadway was closed for an extended period of time due to the cleanup. The roadway is now open.  The driver of the SUV died in the crash. It is unknown if the driver of the SUV was wearing his seatbelt. The remains have been sent to the Office of the Medical Examiner, Western District for identification. The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured. The crash remains under investigation.


(previously) The crash today occurred northbound Route 220 at 5:09 a.m. near Aviator’s Circle in Franklin County.

Two vehicle crash involving a tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle. No word on who died in the crash  as authorities have not identified the victim.

The northbound lanes are blocked due to the vehicle fire. Unknown when the roadway will reopen. VDOT has set up a detour for the vehicles that are not stuck in the Q.