Fairfax mayor arrested on drug charges after meth-for-sex sting

Posted at 11:09 AM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-05 11:09:29-04

FAIRFAX, Va. – Mayor Richard “Scott” Silverthorne was arrested in a drug bust Thursday for the distribution of methamphetamine.

The Organized Crime and Narcotics Division of the Fairfax Police Department started an investigation after receiving a tip.

Investigators identified a suspect who was allegedly dealing meth through a website used to arrange sexual encounters between men. An undercover detective created a profile on the site and made contact with the suspect. A few days later, the suspect texted the undercover detective, saying he could provide meth in exchange for sexual encounters.

Undercover detectives and the suspect agreed to meet for a group sexual encounter in exchange for meth.

On August 4, detectives met the suspect at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 1960 Chain Bridge Road. The initial suspect, Mayor Silverthorne, gave the undercover detectives meth and was arrested and charged with felony distribution of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Silverthorne, 50, is also a substitute teacher for Fairfax County Schools.

After arresting the mayor, detectives found his suppliers and arrested Juan Jose Fernandez, 34, and Caustin Lee McLaughlin, 21.

Fernandez was charged with  Fernandez was charged with felony distribution of methamphetamine, felony possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

McLaughlin was charged with felony distribution of methamphetamine, felony obstruction of justice and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. A detective tased McLaughlin after he physically resisted while being arrested. There were no injuries.

Silverthorne, Fernandez and McLaughlin were taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center for processing.

If you have any information about this investigation that can help detectives, call 703-691-2131 or contact Crime Solvers at by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477) or online at