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Owners of Pheromoans Indicted

Stafford, Virginia- Stafford Detective John Hughes spends much of his on-duty time checking out illegal drug activity.

Lately, however, Hughes has been checking out a different sort of alleged criminal activity–sexually explicit adult videos.

As part of an investigation that this week resulted in charges against a county sex shop and its two owners, Hughes and at least one other detective have purchased and viewed at least six videos from a business known as Pheromoans.

Pheromoans Inc. and its owners, Lesley O. Mason and Meagan J. Pacheco, were all indicted Monday on three misdemeanor charges of violating the state’s obscenity laws.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Pheromoans is an adult-oriented store that opened a few months ago at 70 Doc Stone Road in North Stafford. In addition to movies, the store sells such things as novelty items and sex toys.

According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Stafford Circuit Court, Hughes began his investigation on Oct. 12 by going into the store and buying two movies, including “Barely Legal Hotties.”

Hughes wrote that the movies depicted graphic sexual relations that “have a dominant theme that which is prurient in nature.”

That same day, court records state, another Stafford detective purchased two other movies. Those movies were said to be “purely sexual in nature and without serious artistic, literary, political or scientific value.”

On Oct. 27, detectives returned to the store and bought “The Devil in Miss Jones” and “Deep Throat.” The latter movie was used in a successful obscenity prosecution in Stafford 20 years ago.

Stafford prosecutor Jim Peterson said the investigation was spurred by complaints from the community.

He said that while state obscenity cases have been rare since Stafford last pursued cases in the 1980s, there have been prosecutions within the past 10 years in Gloucester, Prince William and Fairfax counties.

“This is not something that is just resurrected in Stafford every 20 years or so,” Peterson said.

Peterson said the people who purchase pornographic tapes have nothing to worry about from his office. He said it is not a crime to possess or buy certain obscene materials, but it is one to sell them.


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