U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia
(757) 441-6331
October 30, 2015

Godfather of Portsmouth Bloods Gang Sentenced to Life in Prison

NORFOLK, VA—Christopher Smith, aka Killa, 32, of Portsmouth, was sentenced today to life in prison for conspiring to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of that conspiracy.

Also sentenced today were co-conspirators Howard Foust (223 months), Dwayne Banks (135 months), and Ricky Jackson (280 months).

Smith, the former “Godfather” of the Portsmouth-based Imperial Gangsta Bloods, a set affiliated with the United Blood Nation, pleaded guilty on July 28, 2015. According to court documents, 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 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 Foust, aka “Lil’ Howard” (Case details on Jackson, Whitaker, Foust and Jermarrieo 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 Aug. 18, 2014, a member of the Imperial Gangsta Bloods shot Jeremy Saunders multiple times. Saunders survived the shooting. Days later, Smith, Whitaker and another IGB 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.

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 sentencing by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Bosse and Joseph DePadilla prosecuted the case.

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.

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. 2:15-cr-7.

Name

Age, Hometown

Charges

Status

Christopher Smith

32, Portsmouth

Conspiring to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin; Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

Pleaded guilty July 28. Sentenced to life in prison today.

Ricky Jackson

37, Hempstead, New York

Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics

Pleaded guilty May 28, 2015. Sentenced to 280 months in prison today.

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 300 months in prison.

Howard Foust

31, Portsmouth

Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics

Pleaded guilty Feb. 2, 2015. Sentenced to 223 months in prison today.

Jermarrieo Stigger

30, Virginia Beach

Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics; Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

Pleaded guilty on June 15. Sentenced Sept. 24, 2015 to 420 months in prison.

Dwayne Banks

XX, Portsmouth

Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics

Pleaded guilty on July 30. Sentenced to 135 months in prison today.

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