News and Press Releases

Hopewell Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison on Crack and Firearm Charges

March 5, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. - Roberto Carlos Alvarez, 26, of Hopewell, Virginia, a career offender, was sentenced today to 360 months in prison for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base, and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Edgar Domenech, Special Agent-In-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Edward Frankenstein, Chief, Prince George County Police; and John Dixon, III, Chief, Petersburg Bureau of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Henry E. Hudson.

In December 7, 2009, a jury found Alvarez guilty of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.  According to court testimony, on June 15, 2009, Alvarez was observed driving a vehicle toward a traffic checkpoint that had been setup Northbound on South Crater Road in Petersburg, Virginia.  Alvarez abruptly turned off the road and into a private driveway. 

        A Prince George County Police Officer testified that he was working the checkpoint when he observed Alvarez’s vehicle turn into the driveway, and come to a stop behind a row of trees.  The police officer observed Woodson and another individual switch seats inside the car so that Woodson was no longer in the driver’s seat.

Alvarez and the passenger were questioned by the police officer to determine if they lived at the residence or knew anyone who lived there. Neither Alvarez nor the passenger knew anyone at the residence. The officer then walked around the vehicle and almost immediately saw a black nylon backpack on the ground.  Although it had been raining heavily that day, the bag was dry.  The police officer picked up the bag, opened it, and found inside of it a digital scale, a large quantity of baggies typically used to package drugs, a quantity of “crack” cocaine, and a loaded firearm.  Officers searched Alvarez after placing him under arrest and recovered $3,315.00 in U.S. currency.  Later on, at the police precinct, officers found more than $2000.00 in cash hidden in Alvarez’s shoe.  In addition, Alvarez gave a false name at the time of his arrest. 

Because of his prior record, Judge Hudson found Alvarez to be a Career Offender.  Alvarez, who was on federal probation for drug trafficking at the time of his arrest, also had a firearm charge pending from a 2007 arrest.

        This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Prince George County Police Department; and the Petersburg Bureau of Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Angela Mastandrea-Miller prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

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  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on



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