News and Press Releases

Newport News Man Plead Guilty to Distributing Heroin Resulting in Death

May 17, 2011

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Dennis Lamonte Bunch, 28, of Newport News, Va., pled guilty yesterday to distribution of heroin resulting in the death of Jessie Truslow in September 2008. 

            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.

            “This case is a tragic reminder that if you traffic these deadly drugs, you’re throwing your life away and putting others’ lives in peril,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Our thoughts and condolences are with the family of Jessie Truslow, and our thanks go to the men and women who brought those responsible to justice. As a result of the investigation into Jessie Truslow’s death, our law enforcement partners have taken dozens of heroin traffickers off the streets of Tidewater.”

            Bunch, together with Jennifer Truslow, was indicted on March 18, 2011, in a 17-count indictment, which included numerous counts of distribution of heroin, as well as distributing heroin near a youth center and schools. Sentencing has been set for Sept.12, 2011, in the Norfolk Federal Courthouse.  Bunch faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life.

            According to the indictment, Bunch distributed heroin to Jessie Truslow’s wife, Jennifer Truslow, who smuggled heroin into the Newport News City Farm to her husband, who died from the use of the drugs. This allegation was responsible for launching an investigation into heroin distribution in several areas of Newport News and the Virginia Peninsula.  To date, 33 federal defendants have been indicted, convicted and sentenced, and more than 100 related state defendants have been convicted and sentenced.       

            This case was investigated by the FBI, the Newport News Police Department and other law enforcement agencies participating in an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  Assistant United States Attorney Laura P. Tayman is prosecuting 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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