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Press Release

Eight-Time Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Heroin Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty today to maintaining a drug-trafficking operation out of a storage unit and possessing with intent to distribute heroin.

According to court documents, Demetress Donyah Bratton, 36, was storing, manufacturing, and packaging heroin for distribution out of a storage unit that he was renting in Virginia Beach. After executing a search warrant on the storage unit, Virginia Beach Police recovered 89 grams of heroin, $20,000 in cash, cutting agents, other drug paraphernalia, and four guns. Shortly after the search, Bratton arrived at the storage unit, and SWAT team members arrested him in possession of 38 grams of heroin, cutting agents, more drug paraphernalia, and approximately $1600. Bratton has been trafficking heroin for the past six years and is an eight-time felon.

Bratton faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum term of 40 years in prison when sentenced on January 3, 2019. 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.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin M. Comstock 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. 2:18-cr-123.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated October 2, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods