U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia
(757) 441-6331
July 28, 2015

Godfather of Portsmouth Bloods Gang Pleads Guilty to Drug and Gun Charges

NORFOLK, VA—The “Godfather” of the Portsmouth-based Imperial Gangsta Bloods, a set affiliated with the United Blood Nation, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin.

Christopher Smith, aka Killa, 32, of Portsmouth, Virginia, also pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Over the course of the conspiracy, Smith and the Imperial Gangsta Bloods trafficked multiple kilograms of heroin in the Hampton Roads region, and numerous guns were seized during the investigation of the case.

In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, from early 2014 until September 2014, Smith and others working at his direction traveled to New York City, where they bought bulk quantities of heroin from Imperial Gangsta Bloods member Ricky Jackson, aka Sosa. The heroin was transported from New York City back to the Hampton Roads area where it was cut and prepared for street-level distribution by other members of the gang, including high-ranking members Junious Whitaker, aka Redd, and Howard Foust, aka Lil’ Howard. (Case details on Jackson, Whitaker, Foust and Stigger are in the table presented below).

In August 2014, Smith and other members of the gang were involved a series of violent altercations with twin brothers Jason and Jeremy Saunders, who ran a separate heroin trafficking organization in Portsmouth. On August 18, 2014, a member of the Imperial Gangsta Bloods gang shot Jeremy Saunders multiple times. Saunders survived the shooting. Days later, Smith, Whitaker and another gang member were involved in a separate shooting incident with the Saunders brothers (both of whom were later convicted in a separate federal drug prosecution). Several weeks after the second August shooting, Smith, Foust and two other individuals were stopped on the Eastern Shore of Virginia on their way back from New York City, where they had purchased approximately 275 grams of heroin.

Smith was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 22, 2015. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 30, 2015. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Name

Age, Hometown

Charges

Status

Christopher Smith

32, Portsmouth

Conspiring to distribute narcotics; possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime

Pleaded guilty July 28. Sentencing October 30, 2015.

Ricky Jackson

37, Hempstead, New York

Conspiracy to distribute narcotics

Pleaded guilty May 28, 2015. Sentencing Oct. 23, 2015.

Junious Whitaker

28, Portsmouth

Conspiracy to distribute narcotics; possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime

Pleaded guilty March 18, 2015. Sentenced June 23, 2015 to 25 years in prison.

Howard Foust

31, Portsmouth

Conspiracy to distribute narcotics

Pleaded guilty Feb. 2, 2015. Sentencing Oct. 23, 2015.

Jermarrieo Stigger

30, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Conspiracy to distribute narcotics; possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime

Pleaded guilty on June 15. Sentencing Sept. 22, 2015.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and John S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after the guilty plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Miller.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Norfolk field office in conjunction with the ATF, the Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and Norfolk Police Departments, and the Virginia State Police. This investigation was part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal, multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Bosse and Joseph DePadilla are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:15cr7.

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