Augusta County Man Arrested, Indicted on Racketeering Charges

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Prosecutors say an Augusta County man with a history of gang-related crimes has now "graduated" to racketeering.  Shaun Adam Sams, 23, of Verona was indicted on felony charges last month, and finally arrested over the weekend.

Sams is among three people facing racketeering charges, a rarely used Virginia code section that deals with "ongoing criminal enterprise."  Prosecutors say that can include a wide variety of offenses, including drug trade and counterfeiting.

Back in 2007, a then-18-year-old Sams pleaded guilty to three felony charges, related to the recruitment of an underage girl into a criminal street gang.  This past June, he was indicted on a pair of drug-distribution charges.  Last month, a special grand jury added the three racketeering counts.

Because of those multiple alleged offenses, Sams and his two co-defendants could all face the possibility of life in prison.  Augusta County deputies had been looking for Sams ever since the indictments and he was finally arrested on Sunday.

His fugitive status also threw a wrench in a Waynesboro stabbing case.  Sams was the alleged victim, but after he failed to show up for two court hearings, prosecutors allowed the suspects to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges.