On March 31, a 34-year-old Portsmouth man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in a drug trafficking ring. Four other Virginia residents were previously sentenced in the case.
According to court documents, the five defendants ran a heroin and fentanyl trafficking organization out of Hampton Roads. They were accused of obtaining drugs from Baltimore, repackaging them and then distributing them to other dealers in the Outer Banks. On Dec. 22, 2015, police raided the home of one of the defendants, a 26-year-old Portsmouth man, and seized opiates, scales, guns and drug paraphernalia. The suspect was arrested on June 8, and drugs, cash and a gun were found in his possession. Another defendant, a 56-year-old Portsmouth woman, was arrested in North Carolina after selling five grams of heroin. The 34-year-old was taken into custody after a high-speed chase through Portsmouth, which led to a car crash. He reportedly had seven grams of fentanyl on him at the time of his arrest.
A federal grand jury indicted the group on July 20. Charges included conspiracy to manufacturer, distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, distribution of heroin, distribution of fentanyl and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The defendants received sentences ranging from 60 to 300 months.
Defendants facing drug trafficking charges may be able to help their situation by contacting a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney could protect a defendant's rights throughout police questioning and court proceedings and work to build a strong defense based on the circumstances of the case.
Source: Web Link: WAVY, "Five Portsmouth-based heroin, fentanyl traffickers sentenced to 66 years", Emily Satchell, March 31, 2017