An illegal U-turn in Arlington County led to the criminal arrest of a Centreville man on charges of dealing and manufacturing drugs. And now those charges are heading to the grand jury.
THE MAN is Steven William Lesiak, 34, of 13347 Connor Drive, No. I, in the Stone Gate at Fair Crest condominiums. Arlington County police arrested him following a traffic stop which, they say, yielded suspected ecstasy and marijuana, plus nearly $6,100 in cash.
An Arlington police detective explained the case against him in a July 11 affidavit for a warrant to search Lesiak's home. Centre View is not identifying the detective, assigned to the Vice/Narcotics Section of his police department, since he sometimes works undercover.
He wrote that on June 24, around 9:36 p.m., Arlington Police Officer K. Wardle was on routine patrol in a marked, police car when she saw a black, 1999 Cadillac Deville traveling on Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington County.
She stopped the vehicle in the 2500 block of that highway after allegedly observing its driver make a U-turn in violation of a posted, highway sign. She then identified the driver as Lesiak.
However, wrote the detective, "As the encounter progressed, Officer Wardle noticed that Lesiak was exhibiting signs of stress and nervousness that began to arouse her suspicion." After giving him a ticket for several traffic violations, she asked him for permission to search his car, and he reportedly agreed.
She didn't find anything illegal in the passenger area. But as she shifted her attention to the trunk, wrote the detective, she reportedly detected an odor of marijuana emanating from it, and it grew stronger after the trunk was opened. Inside were several bags, a suitcase, a laptop bag and a locked safe.
AS WARDLE conducted a more-detailed search of those items, she discovered a metal box inside the laptop bag. "Further inspection of the box's contents revealed suspected crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy tablets," wrote the detective. "The laptop bag also contained several bills and personal papers with Lesiak's name on them and $1,650 in U.S. currency in a nylon pouch."
After finding the suspected narcotics, the officer arrested Lesiak and charged him with two counts of manufacturing a controlled substance and one count of selling and distributing marijuana. Furthermore, wrote the detective, "A search of his person incident to arrest yielded a pouch strapped to his groin area which contained $4,440 in U.S. currency."
Arlington County Fire Department personnel later opened the safe and, according to the detective, reportedly discovered "several bags containing suspected marijuana, a digital scale and no less than 100 baggies utilized for the packaging and resale of marijuana."
The detective stated that, from his training and experience, these items — when located in close proximity to each other — are "indicative of drug distribution in which larger quantities of the drug are broken down into lesser amounts, weighed, repackaged in smaller bags and then resold for profit."
WARDLE CONDUCTED field tests on the suspected marijuana, crystal meth and ecstasy and, wrote the detective, all allegedly tested positive for those substances. In summary, he noted, "171 suspected ecstasy tablets, approximately 22 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine, approximately six pounds of suspected marijuana and $6,090 in U.S. currency were seized during the traffic stop."
The detective also wrote that "the quantity of marijuana, ecstasy and crystal methamphetamine seized is inconsistent with personal use and consistent with further distribution. [And] the manner in which the drugs and currency were concealed is consistent with an attempt to avoid detection and hide drug-trafficking activity."
Police executed the search warrant at Lesiak's home, July 11, and seized records and documents, a laptop computer and "assorted drug paraphernalia with residue."
Lesiak appeared Monday, July 16, in Arlington County General District Court and, at that time, Judge Karen Henenberg certified all three charges against him to the grand jury for possible indictment.