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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 24, 2014

11th Henrico Drug Conspirator Sentenced To Four Years In Prison

RICHMOND, Va. – Dante Beard, 33, of Henrico County was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  He is the 11th person sentenced as a result of a federal investigation of Henrico County cocaine dealers who were supplied by a dealer in North Carolina.

Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Shannon L. Taylor, Commonwealth Attorney for Henrico County; Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; and Douglas A. Middleton, Chief of Henrico Police Division, made the announcement after the sentencing before United State District Judge Henry E. Hudson.   

Beard pled guilty on October 10, 2014 to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  According to the Statement of Facts filed with his plea agreement, authorities intercepted a telephone conversation between Beard and his Henrico supplier, Darryl Delaney, during which Beard ordered cocaine.  Beard subsequently admitted that he had been purchasing approximately two ounces of cocaine at a time, twice a month from Delaney.

Delaney and another Henrico dealer, Gordon Shelton, had been obtaining approximately 375 grams of cocaine at a time from Carlos Cooke, in North Carolina.  Cooke’s courier, Tomeka Wimbush, would transport the drugs to Virginia.  In connection with a Statement of Facts in support of his guilty plea, Cooke acknowledged that between 2007 and 2013 he distributed between five and fifteen kilograms of cocaine to Delaney and Shelton in quantities of 375 grams at a time.  They, in turn, would then distribute the drugs to local dealers, including Beard, Kevin Lee, Kelley Brown, Charles Kates, Stevenson Silencieux, Eric Wingate and Michael Epps.  Those individuals would then redistribute the cocaine in the local area.

This case was part of an 18-month OCDETF investigation, Operation Carolina and Back.   Cooke was sentenced to 288 months in prison on August 8, 2014; and Wimbush was sentenced to 51 months in prison on August 5, 2014.  Delaney was sentenced to 156 months in prison on May 14, 2014; Shelton was sentenced to 120 months in prison on April 18, 2014; Silencieux was sentenced to 48 months in prison on September 19, 2014; Lee was sentenced to 108 months on September 19, 2014; Brown was sentenced to 48 months in prison on September 19, 2014; Kates was sentenced to 72 months in prison on October 3, 2014; and Wingate was sentenced to 41 months prison on October 16, 2014.  Epps, of Urbana, Virginia, was sentenced to 40 months in prison on October 3, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Henrico Police Division.  Assistant United States Attorney David T. Maguire and Matthew Ackley, Special Assistant United States Attorney and Henrico County Regional Drug Prosecutor are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 3:14-cr-070, 3:14-cr-003, 3:14-cr-016 and 3:14-cr-030
Updated March 26, 2015