Sprouse pleads guilty in drug case

Published 6:46 pm Monday, December 26, 2016

A 19-year-old former Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) student arrested and charged in connection with distribution of marijuana, weapons violations and numerous thefts at the college in late April pleaded guilty to drug, alcohol and weapon charges in Prince Edward Circuit Court on Dec. 14.

According to Prince Edward County Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Clark, Bradford Sprouse will serve an active sentence of 12 months in prison.

“In addition, the money seized from Sprouse (just over $6,000) was forfeited to the commonwealth,” Clark said.

Though all but one year was suspended on set terms and conditions, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison on the charges.

Sprouse faced numerous felonies and misdemeanors after being reportedly found in possession of “a large amount” of marijuana, prescription medication, more than $6,000 in cash, numerous guns and ammunition, according H-SC police.

On Nov. 22, Sprouse, of Chesterfield, was indicted on six felonies.

According to Clark, Sprouse entered guilty pleas to one count each of felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felony possession of marijuana with intent to sell on school property, misdemeanor underage possession of alcohol and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon.

“In exchange for these guilty pleas, the other matters pending against the defendant were dismissed as a part of a plea agreement,” Clark said.

According to then H-SC Police Chief Scott Williams, a campus police officer was conducting a foot patrol around 5:45 p.m. April 19 in reference to burglaries and larcenies during the previous month.

As the officer passed a 2002 Silver Ford Explorer, he observed a shotgun in the front seat of the vehicle.

“The officer was able to determine the operator of the vehicle as a Hampden-Sydney freshman named Bradford Sprouse,” Williams said at the time.

While retrieving the weapons, “probable cause was developed for a search of the vehicle where numerous firearms, hunting equipment, alcoholic beverages and coolers and drug paraphernalia were discovered,” Williams said.

During the search, a handgun, three rifles, shotguns, a hunting bow, more than 22 boxes of ammunition and a “bong” smoking device were found, police said.

“A loaded handgun was found directly under the driver’s seat. During the investigation it was determined that a shotgun, a compact hunting bow and a pair of binoculars recovered were actually stolen in burglaries that occurred over the past months on campus,” Williams said.

On Thursday, April 21, “information was developed and a search warrant was obtained for the room of Mr. Sprouse in Cushing Residence Hall,” Williams said. “More items were found inside the room that matched the description of items stolen over the past few months. Moreover, information was developed that led back to the 2002 Silver Ford Explorer. After the search of the vehicle, a large amount of suspected marijuana, over $6,000 in U.S. currency and prescription drugs were located in the vehicle.”

Sprouse is no longer a student at the college.

He was charged with possession of a concealed weapon, underage possession of an alcoholic beverage, four counts of possession of stolen property, possession of marijuana, distribution of marijuana and distribution of marijuana within the property of a college.

“Hampden-Sydney College has a policy where all firearms used for hunting or target shooting should be registered with the campus police and the weapon should be secured in the police station when not used,” Williams said.