News and Press Releases

Two Newport News Heroin Traffickers Sentenced to Twenty Years

July 9, 2012

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Jeffrey Lamont Banks, 36, and Brian Lee Morton, 44, both of Newport News, Va., were sentenced today for conspiracy to distribute over a kilogram of heroin.  Banks was sentenced to 240 months in prison, and Morton was sentenced to 258 months in prison. Both sentences will be followed by 10 years of supervised release.  The two co-defendants were tried together and convicted on April 16, 2012, following a four-day jury trial held at the Federal Courthouse in Newport News. 

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr.

            According to court documents, Jeffrey Lamont Banks and Brian Lee Morton were engaged in distributing heroin to heroin users, from early 2000 until their indictment in November 2011, in the cities of Hampton and Newport News, VaHeroin is a highly addictive narcotic controlled substance, which frequently results in overdoses and overdose deaths.  Due to a quickly developed tolerance for the drug, users need ever larger quantities of heroin to feel high and avoid feeling ill from withdrawal.  This case is part of a concerted effort by law enforcement officials on the Virginia Peninsula to crack down on this dangerous illicit narcotic.    
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Newport News Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Laura Tayman and Special Assistant United States Attorney Bradley Price 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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