Sheriff’s e-mails wanted by police

Published 8:36 am Friday, November 5, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—Virginia State Police investigators looking into the role of a felon volunteering in the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office are probing certain e-mailed communications in the department.

Investigators seized a thumb drive containing digital format of about 1,500 e-mails from the Isle of Wight County server, according to a search warrant filed in the circuit court.

The search warrant, filed Oct. 25, requested e-mails concerning Jonathan Burns or Chamiek Anderson originating from or received by seven people associated with the sheriff’s office or the county’s emergency communication center, including Sheriff C.W. “Charlie” Phelps.

The e-mails collected were sent or received between Jan. 1, 2006, through June 1.

Burns, a four-time convicted felon, worked for the sheriff’s office as a volunteer aide, but apparently carried a Taser, wore a uniform and badge and even participated in some arrests. After serving as a volunteer, Burns was hired in March in a support capacity, but has since been terminated.

Anderson is a Windsor man who was convicted in January of selling cocaine and gun possession.

A state police investigation into Burns’ involvement with the department was authorized in June. According to the search warrant, it was issued in relation to offenses of police impersonation, unlawful wearing of an officer’s uniform and possession of a stun weapon by a convicted felon.