Rose McGowan Va. drug case begins — without her

LEESBURG, Va. — The lawyer for actress-activist Rose McGowan waived her appearance in her arraignment on a felony drug possession case.

In a case that’s getting about 10 times the attention of a typical local cocaine possession case — about 10 cameras were set up outside the Loudoun County Courthouse — Vienna defense attorney Jim Hundley told the judge McGowan would bypass her initial court appearance.

Hundley told District Court Judge Dean Worcester that Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman didn’t object.

Hundley said he had discussed with McGowan the maximum penalty she faced — 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $2500, or both — if convicted of the Class 5 felony of possession of a controlled substance.

McGowan turned herself in at the Loudoun County Magistrate’s office Tuesday. She was arrested, booked and released on $5,000 unsecured bond.

An arrest warrant filed by Detective J.C. Hughes, of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said McGowan’s wallet was found next to her seat after she got off a flight at Dulles International Airport Jan. 20 by a member of the plane cleaning crew.

The wallet contained two small bags of white powder. According to police, the powder tested positive for cocaine.

McGowan told The New Yorker that she planned to plead not guilty to the charge, and said the drugs may have been planted.

The judge set a preliminary hearing date for Jan. 23, 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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