A senior member of Mayor L. Douglas Wilder's economic development department faces charges of possession of cocaine.
Richmond Sherriff's deputies arrested C. Cary Brown, a program administrator for the Richmond Department of Economic Development, when he turned himself in at the John Marshall Courthouse on Nov. 13. Virginia Commonwealth University police officers say in court documents that they caught Brown with less than a gram of cocaine at 10:20 p.m. Nov. 4 near the intersection of Lombardy and Leigh streets, the area behind the Kroger grocery store off Broad Street. The reason for the delayed arrest could not be confirmed at press time.
University police officers were surveying the Newtowne area for drug trafficking, according to the court documents, when they stopped Brown after they saw his car drift into an oncoming lane of traffic.
Brown served as interim director of the department for six months in 2007. He declines to discuss the incident with a reporter.
When asked what he was doing in the neighborhood, according to an officer's written narrative, Brown told police he was dropping off a co-worker. But he couldn't identify the co-worker, according to the transcript: “Mr. Brown advised me that he did not know his coworkers name and refers to him as Boo or Red.”
The officers received permission to search the vehicle and found a cigarette box containing six individually wrapped packages of cocaine, according to their report. Police say Brown told them he had a drug problem and had been regularly buying drugs in the area for a year. He estimated that he “typically spends around four hundred dollars a month on the drug,” the report says.
Prior to joining the economic development department in 2002, Brown worked in the city's department of community development for seven years. It was during his tenure as interim director of economic development that the city announced it would seek proposals from private developers to redevelop 6th Street Marketplace, Main Street Station, Theater Row and the parcels the city owns on the Boulevard near The Diamond.
City spokesman Mike Wallace learned of Brown's arrest from a reporter, and declines to comment. “It is city policy not to comment on employee issues,” he says.
He confirmed that as of press time Brown is still a city employee, although Richmond drug-policy documents say the city has a “non-tolerance” stance toward illegal drug use. If convicted, Brown will have to surrender his job.
Brown is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 20.