Virginia Mayor R. Scott Silverthorne Arrested on Drug Charges After Meth-For-Sex Sting

Virginia Mayor R. Scott Silverthorne Arrested on Drug Charges After Meth-For-Sex Sting

The mayor of Fairfax, Va., a wealthy Washington suburb, was arrested on charges of distributing methamphetamines as part of an alleged “meth-for-sex” scheme, Fairfax County Police said Friday.


Mayor Richard “Scott” Silverthorne, 50, who is also a substitute teacher for Fairfax County public schools, was arrested Thursday after he allegedly provided meth to undercover officers who met him at a local hotel, police said.

Two others, identified as the mayor’s alleged suppliers, Juan Jose Fernandez, 34, and Caustin Lee McLaughlin, 21, both of Maryland, were also arrested outside the hotel and charged with meth distribution, police said.

Juan Mose Fernandez, left, and Caustin Lee McLaughlin, are shown in a Fairfax County, Va., booking photo following their arrest on Aug. 4, 2016, on charges of distributing methamphetamines. (Photo: Fairfax County Police)
Juan Mose Fernandez, left, and Caustin Lee McLaughlin, are shown in a Fairfax County, Va., booking photo following their arrest on Aug. 4, 2016, on charges of distributing methamphetamines. (Photo: Fairfax County Police)

The mayor did not resist arrest and cooperated with officers, police said, but McLaughlin was subdued with a Taser after he “physically resisted” his arrest, police said.

Silverthorne, who is serving his third term as mayor, was charged with felony distribution of meth and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Silverthorne’s bio on the official Fairfax city website states he is “a champion for quality of life issues.”

In January, Silverthorne told The Washington Post that “it’s been a terrible year for me,” referring to financial and medical issues, the newspaper reports.

The Post says Silverthorne was laid off in June from his job as a director of recruitment with the National Association of Manufacturers and that a bank foreclosed on his house.

Capt. Jack Hardin, commander of the organized crime and narcotics division, told reporters that the investigation into the case began three weeks ago after a citizen tipped police that the mayor was allegedly distributing meth through a website used to arrange for casual sex between men.

Hardin said Silverthorne allegedly responded about two days after an undercover detective created a profile on the site based on information as to “what the mayor was looking for, the type of person, and activities.”

In an exchange of texts, Silverthorne then allegedly agreed to meet at a hotel in Virginia’s Tysons Corner area allegedly to exchange meth for “a group sexual encounter,” police said. Police alleged that he had distributed meth in this manner on at least two other occasions.

As part of the sting, the undercover officer was supposed to have made arrangements for a room inside the hotel after the meth was turned over in the parking lot outside. Police said the alleged suppliers were running 20 minutes late and that Silverthorne allegedly got into a vehicle with the suppliers, then came back to the undercover officer and was arrested.

Police said a fourth man was questioned at the scene in connection with the case, but was not charged.

In 2009, Fairfax, a city of 23,500 people about 20 miles west of Washington, D.C., was ranked No. 3 by Forbes in an article on the “Top 25 Places to Live Well.”

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