Home Norfolk Press Releases 2009 Twenty-Two Charged with Operating Major Heroin Trafficking Ring

Twenty-Two Charged with Operating Major Heroin Trafficking Ring

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 10, 2009
  • Eastern District of Virginia (757) 441-6331

NEWPORT NEWS, VA—Twenty-two members of a major heroin trafficking ring operating throughout the Virginia Peninsula were charged in federal court today following coordinated arrests and the search of 10 properties that began early this morning.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Alex J. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Norfolk Division; and James D. Fox, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after the court documents were unsealed.

“All illegal drugs are dangerous, but heroin is particularly addictive and deadly,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “The increase in heroin overdose deaths is extremely troubling. We hope the facts alleged in this case bring attention to the dangers involved with heroin use so that others in the community—health officials, schools, churches, and other organizations—will marshal their resources to provide help to those struggling with heroin abuse.”

According to court records, Darryl Wright, 44, of Hampton, Va., is alleged to be the leader of a heroin drug trafficking organization responsible for bringing heroin from New York and New Jersey to the Virginia Peninsula since at least 2004. Members of the heroin ring would routinely travel by bus to New York or New Jersey, purchase hundreds of grams of heroin, and bring the heroin to a “table top” home allegedly set up by Wright in the Southeast Community of Newport News, where the heroin would be cut and repackaged for street-level distribution.

Wright allegedly worked with multiple mid-level distributors, who would take large amounts of the repackaged heroin each day for distribution to street dealers throughout the suburbs of the Virginia Peninsula and military installations in the area. Wright is also alleged to have laundered his drug proceeds through various methods, including using family members as nominees for assets and to conduct financial transactions on his behalf.

The court records indicate that at least 15 heroin overdose deaths have occurred in the Virginia Peninsula in the past two years, and several of these heroin overdoses have been attributed to heroin distributed by members of the drug trafficking organization allegedly led by Wright.

Today’s enforcement action culminates a year-long investigation into this heroin drug trafficking organization. In a complaint filed in court today, all 22 defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. In addition to those charged today, more than 100 individuals have previously been arrested and charged by state authorities.

Those charged today include the following individuals:

  • Joshua Albert Autrey, 26, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be a street-level heroin distributor.
  • Obadiah Rhoads Bennett, 35, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be a captain of the organization handling the day-to-day operations, including packaging the heroin, re-supplying mid-level distributors and collecting and storing drug proceeds.
  • Dwayne Blackwell, 27, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be a mid-level distributor.
  • Omar Inkosia Deloatch, 28, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be a mid-level heroin distributor.
  • Roger Charles Evans, 60, of Hampton, Va., is alleged to be a mid-level distributor.
  • Darryl Darnell Faulkner, 40, of Richmond, Va., is alleged to be a drug and money courier.
  • Taurean Isaiah Gladding, 22, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is alleged to be a drug and money courier.
  • Richard Roosevelt Glasper, 59, of Hampton, Va., is alleged to be a heroin-quality tester and a conspirator who stored large quantities of heroin for the organization.
  • Edward Curruth Hill, 53, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be a mid-level distributor.
  • Marc Derek Johnson, 48, of New Jersey, is allegedly the main source of supply for the heroin drug trafficking organization.
  • Christina Alma Lane, 20, of Irvington, N.J., is alleged to be a drug and money courier.
  • Loren Anthony Mason, 42, of Hampton, Va., is alleged to be a drug and money courier.
  • David Alexander Morris, 63, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be heroin-quality tester and a conspirator who stored large quantities of heroin for the organization.
  • John Marc Morris, 38, of Hampton, Va., is alleged to be a captain of the organization, handling the day-to-day operations, including packaging the heroin, re-supplying mid-level distributers and collecting and storing drug proceeds.
  • Edward Myricks, 44, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be a lieutenant responsible for packaging and distributing heroin to the mid-level distributors.
  • Gordan Marshall Pettaway, 47, of Hampton, Va., is alleged to be a mid-level distributor.
  • James Louis Towns, 57, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be a mid-level distributor.
  • Joseph Vick Jr., 57, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be a mid-level distributor.
  • Maurice Harvey Witherspoon, 47, of Dendron, Va., is alleged to be a drug courier and mid-level distributor.
  • Tonnette Williams, 42 or 43, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to be a mid-level distributor.
  • Alicia Louise Wright, 27, of Newport News, Va., is alleged to have assisted the conspiracy to launder money and other activities.

This case was investigated by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) led by the FBI’s Norfolk Division, and the investigative team included the Newport News Police Department, the Virginia State Police, the Hampton Police Division, the Poquoson Police Department, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ Office of Inspector General Criminal Investigations Division, and the U.S. Army – Criminal Investigations Division. Assistant United States Attorney Laura Tayman is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

The public is reminded that a criminal complaint only contains charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.