Hampton Roads Cocaine Distribution Organization Indicted
MAR 04 -- NORFOLK, Va. – Eight members of a cocaine distribution ring in Hampton Roads were indicted by a federal grand jury today as part of an ongoing investigation of drug traffickers in the region. Ava Cooper-Davis, Special Agent in Charge for Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s Washington Division; Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Mark N. Russ, Special Agent in Charge, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement shortly after the grand jury returned a true bill.
"The alleged members of this drug trafficking organization are charged with bringing large quantities of narcotics, and the violence that accompanies them, to the Hampton Roads area," stated Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Ava A. Cooper-Davis. "The announced indictment helps to ensure the surrounding communities are safer today."
“Combating illegal drugs has been – and will remain – a high priority for the U.S. Attorney’s office,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “ Cocaine and illegal drugs are a poison in our communities and can have tragic consequences, especially for young people. Everyone involved in this investigation had one goal – gather the evidence necessary to get as many drug traffickers off our streets as possible.”
Mark N. Russ, Special Agent in Charge, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Norfolk Field Office, added, "It is imperative that members of this criminal enterprise face swift and severe justice as their actions are truly dangerous and disgraceful." "My sincere appreciation goes out to all who worked countless hours to bring this very serious issue to a safe and successful conclusion."
According to the 55-count indictment and other court records, the members of this conspiracy allegedly traveled to New York every two to three weeks and transported four to five kilograms of cocaine into the Hampton Roads area, which they distributed to others throughout the region. Through audio and video surveillance, the conspirators were recorded allegedly setting up drug sales, negotiating prices and discussing cocaine amount and quality.
In addition to the cocaine trafficking charges, four of the defendants have been charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and one defendant has been charged as a felon in possession of a firearm. Two of the defendants were active duty U.S. Navy service members during the timeframe of the alleged conspiracy, and two were formerly in the Navy prior to that timeframe.
The individuals that have been charged are
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Norfolk Police Department and the Virginia Beach Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Laura M. Everhart is prosecuting the case for the United States.
The charges announced today are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.