News

Nine Indicted On Drug, Gun Charges

Defendants are Accused of Distributing Heroin, Crack Cocaine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 1, 2014

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – In an indictment returned under seal on July 23, 2014, and unsealed today following the initial court appearances of the final defendants, a federal grand jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville has indicted nine individuals on a variety of charges related to a conspiracy to distribute heroin, crack cocaine and powder cocaine, as well as several charges related to the illegal possession and use of firearms.

The grand jury has charged the following:

  • Solomon Anthony Francis, 25, of Culpeper, Va., with one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, one count of distributing crack cocaine, one count of distributing heroin and one count of distributing a controlled substance near a playground.
  • James Alexander Clore, 23, of Culpeper, Va., with one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, four counts of distributing crack cocaine, four counts of distributing a controlled substance near a playground, two counts of attempting to distribute crack cocaine, one count of distributing heroin and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
  • Renee Harris, 43, of Charlottesville, Va., with one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, one count of maintaining drug-involved premises near a playground and one count of distribution of a controlled substance near a playground.
  • Marcus Lee Strother, 23, of Culpeper, Va., with one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and two counts of distributing a controlled substance near a playground.
  • Richard A. Barracks, 32, of Esmont, Va., with one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, two counts of possession with the intent to distribute heroin, one count of distributing crack cocaine and one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
  • Jamel Jovan Jackson, 24, of Charlottesville, Va., with one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, one count of distributing crack cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine.
  • Octavius Deshaw Eubanks, 20, of Charlottesville, Va., with one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Richard Jerome Koonce, III, 41, of Charlottesville, with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, one count of possession of heroin and one count of possession of cocaine.
  • Reg-juan Antonio Smith, 20, of Charlottesville, Va., with one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, one count of distribution of crack cocaine and one count of possession of stolen firearm.

According to the indictment, members of the group conspired to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine and a measurable amount of heroin from January 2013 to the present. In addition, Renee Harris is accused of maintaining a drug house at 366 Riverside Avenue in Charlottesville, within 1,000 feet of Christ Community Church and Riverview Park where two public playgrounds are located.

The indictment also accuses several members of the conspiracy of illegally possessing and using firearms, including a stolen firearm.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Charlottesville Police Department, the Albemarle County Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Culpeper Police Department and the Commonwealths Attorney’s Offices for the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle. Special Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph Platania and Elliott Casey and Assistant United States Attorney Ronald Huber are prosecuting the case for the United States.

A Grand Jury Indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

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