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Justice News

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Emporia Man Sentenced to 8 Years for Heroin and Gun Crimes

NORFOLK, Va. – Collie Rashad Sanks, 37, of Emporia, was sentenced today to 96 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and his firearms trafficking activities. 

Sanks pleaded guilty on Sept. 17, 2015.  According to court documents, Sanks was the second highest ranking member of a Bloods street gang known as the Red Stone Rydahs, which operated in Emporia and Franklin.  Along with his co-conspirator, Phillip Jerome Murphy, 41, of Franklin, Sanks began distributing significant quantities of heroin in Franklin, Smithfield, and Emporia in approximately 2012.  As frequently as twice per month, Sanks and Murphy would travel to New York to purchase bulk quantities of heroin and then travel back to southeastern Virginia to distribute the drug.  Both men sold heroin themselves, and also employed other individuals to assist them in their distribution activities.  Additionally, court documents revealed that Sanks was heavily involved in firearms trafficking on behalf of the Red Stone Rydahs.  On two occasions, he sold a total of eleven firearms – including high caliber rifles, assault rifles, and pump action shotguns – as well as a ballistic vest to an undercover law enforcement officer.  During search warrants executed at residences associated with Sanks, law enforcement recovered four different types of ammunition, an AK-47 assault rifle, and three other firearms, in addition to heroin, marijuana, narcotics packaging materials, and gang paraphernalia. 

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John S. Adam, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Ricky Pinksaw, Chief of Emporia Police; and Phillip Hardison, Chief of Franklin Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Muhr and V. Kathleen Dougherty prosecuted the case.

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 . 2:15cr115 (Collie Sanks) and Case No. 2:15cr103 (Phillip Murphy).

Drug Trafficking
Updated January 28, 2016