Commonwealth v. Christopher James Brydge; Former Teacher Sentenced to 3 Years for Marijuana Distribution, Heroin Possession at School

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Colin Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Christopher James Brydge, 41 years old, formerly of the 400 block of E. Westmont Avenue in Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr. for Possession of Schedule I/II Drug (Heroin), Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana between ½ oz and 5 pounds, and Possess/Distribute Marijuana on School Property.   Judge Padrick sentenced Brydge to eight (8) years in prison with five (5) years suspended leaving three (3) years to serve.  This sentence highly exceeded the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines, which recommended Brydge serve no more than three (3) months in jail.


Brydge pled guilty on June 17, 2014.  Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on November 5, 2013, Christopher Brydge was employed as an orchestra teacher at Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach.  An assistant principal at the school smelled marijuana and notified the school resource officer from the Virginia Beach Police Department immediately.  The officer confirmed the smell of marijuana and was able to trace it to Brydge’s office.  School staff and the officer found marijuana, a scale, and packaging material in Brydge’s office and took him into a conference room for questioning. Further search of Brydge’s office revealed a black case containing heroin, hypodermic needles, a burnt spoon, and a lighter. 


The Virginia Beach Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit took over the investigation. During an interview with investigators, Brydge confessed to distributing marijuana and possessing heroin.  He also told police that he had more marijuana in his Norfolk home.  This was later recovered by police.  As the investigation continued, officers learned that Brydge had sold marijuana to another teacher during school hours on school grounds. 


Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Thomas M. Murphy prosecuted the case. Please contact Macie E. Pridgen if additional information is desired.