Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Armed Fentanyl Trafficking and Possession of a “Ghost Gun”
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Manassas man pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl and possessing a firearm during drug trafficking.
According to court documents, from in or around May 2020 through December 2021, Justice Edward Ansah, 26, conspired with others to distribute counterfeit, pressed pills containing fentanyl. During the conspiracy, the defendant sold hundreds of thousands of fentanyl-laced pills to customers in northern Virginia. At the time of his arrest in December of 2021, Ansah was carrying a privately manufactured 9mm firearm devoid of a serial number or other unique identifier, aka “ghost gun”. A search of Ansah’s two residences in Manassas revealed over 6,700 grams of fentanyl, over 1450 grams of cocaine, and tens of thousands of grams of marijuana and THC products. The search also resulted in the discovery of two additional privately manufactured firearms devoid of serial numbers, two pistols, one rifle, various ammunition, and over $28,000 in cash. Ansah had previously been convicted of a felony offense in Virginia and was thus prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of this offense.
Ansah is scheduled to be sentenced on September 14. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Washington Field Division; and Peter Newsham, Chief of Prince William County Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael C. Tucker is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:22-cr-88.