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Press Release

Virginia Man Sentenced to 88 Months in Prison For Distribution of Heroin and Cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Admits Obtaining Drugs Through Supplier in New York, Selling Them in Culpeper County, Virginia Area

            WASHINGTON – Robert Apperson, 35, of Reva, Virginia, was sentenced today to 88 months of imprisonment on a federal drug trafficking charge relating to the distribution of heroin and cocaine in Culpeper County, Virginia. He is among 14 people charged with federal crimes following an investigation by a law enforcement task force of a narcotics trafficking ring that operated in places including New York, N.Y., Washington, D.C., and Virginia.


            The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips; Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Peter Newsham, Acting Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).


            All told, the investigation led to the seizure of 2.8 kilograms of powder cocaine, 248 grams of crack cocaine, 700 grams of heroin, more than $100,000 in cash, and a firearm.


            Apperson pled guilty in January 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. He was sentenced by the Honorable John D. Bates. Upon completion of his prison term, Apperson will be placed on four years of supervised release. Apperson also was ordered to pay $130,000 in a forfeiture money judgment.


            According to plea documents, the investigation revealed that co-conspirators in the narcotics trafficking ring transported heroin and cocaine from New York to a supplier, based in Washington, D.C. In turn, the drugs were supplied to numerous other co-conspirators for distribution in Washington, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.


            According to the plea documents, Apperson and/or one of the co-conspirators traveled to Washington, D.C., to obtain between 100 grams and one-kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin from the supplier. Apperson and the co-conspirator then worked to distribute cocaine (as both powder and as crack cocaine) and heroin throughout the Culpeper County area.


            Between September 2015, and January 7, 2016, according to the government’s evidence, Apperson and the co-conspirator purchased between 100 grams and one kilogram of cocaine and heroin approximately every seven to 10 days. In total, according to the government’s evidence, Apperson and the co-conspirator obtained approximately five kilograms of cocaine and four kilograms of heroin from the Washington, D.C. supplier, which they divided 50/50 between the two of them. Apperson then sold his half of the cocaine and heroin to customers throughout the Culpeper area. Apperson was arrested on August 25, 2016, and has been in custody ever since.


            During the course of his arrest, law enforcement seized $3,750 from Apperson’s vehicle and $40,000 from a nightstand drawer at his newly leased residence in Fredericksburg, Va.


            The drug sales took place at a time when the nation is experiencing a rise in opioid overdoses. In Culpeper County, Va. and the town of Culpeper, the Virginia State Police responded to more than 80 overdoses in 2016, including nine that resulted in deaths.


            This prosecution was the result of an investigation initiated in the fall of 2014 by the FBI/MPD Cross Border Task Force, with assistance from the DEA and the Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force. The Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the investigation. The Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force sponsored and supported this complex investigation.


            Those working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia include Legal Assistant Peter Gaboton, former Legal Assistant Brendan Coyne, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kara Traster and Nihar Mohanty, of the Violent Crimes and Narcotics Trafficking Section, who prosecuted the matter.

Updated April 21, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-085