#8216;Lucky#8217; needs a new name

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2008

ISLE OF WIGHT—His friends may call him “Lucky,” but a Smithfield man has reason to believe he’s anything but lucky after a recent string of courtroom encounters.

James L. Diggs, 33, of Track Lane, was headed to an appearance in Isle of Wight District Court on Thursday when he was arrested on a felony drug charge for an offense the previous day, according to court records and Sgt. M.R. Kitchen, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department.

Diggs had been scheduled Thursday for trial on three misdemeanor charges and for a preliminary hearing on a felony drug charge, all stemming from a February incident.

As he entered the courthouse complex, though, police arrested him on a charge of cocaine distribution. That arrest stemmed from an undercover investigation in the Rushmere area, where residents complained of drug dealing on and around James Way, Kitchen stated in a press release.

During his court appearance for the February charges, Diggs was found guilty of misdemeanor trespassing, possession of marijuana and unauthorized use of a vehicle. His felony charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute was certified to the grand jury. He was fined a total of $500 and ordered to pay $587 in court costs for the misdemeanors, court records indicate.

Though he received no jail time for the February misdemeanors, Diggs was remanded to Western Tidewater Regional Jail without bond as a result of his arrest on the new cocaine charge.

He is also set to appear in court later this month to answer to two more misdemeanor charges, assault and trespassing after being forbidden. Those charges stemmed from a June incident.

Also on Thursday, Isle of Wight deputies arrested Willie Lee “Slim” Artis, 22, of Smiths Neck Road, Carrollton, the latest catch in a Murphy’s Trailer Park area drug investigation.

Artis was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, according to Kitchen.

He was jailed at WTRJ under a $25,000 bond. Investigator T.W. Glaser and Deputy T. Lyons handled the arrest.