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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 27, 2015

Georgia Man Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking

Transported cocaine and heroin to the Norfolk area

NORFOLK, Va. – Steve Jacob Joseph 35, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was sentenced today to 420 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin. 

Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and Michael Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Norfolk, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Mark S. Davis.

Joseph and his co-conspirator, Nicole Felicia Clark, were found guilty on December 5, 2014 after a three-day trial by a federal jury.  According to court records and evidence at trial, Joseph and Clark were both members of a large-scale drug trafficking organization that transported cocaine and heroin to the Norfolk area from New York City and Atlanta, Georgia.  Clark transported kilograms of cocaine and heroin from Georgia to Norfolk in a secret compartment in a 2007 GMC Yukon SUV.  Clark transported hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug money from Norfolk to Atlanta.  Joseph managed the drug operation in Atlanta.  He loaded cocaine and heroin into the GMC Yukon for delivery by Clark to Virginia.  Joseph handled the drug money generated by drug sales in Virginia and paid the group’s California supplier.  On November 4, 2013, Clark was arrested by Officers with the Clayton County Georgia Police Department following a traffic stop of the GMC Yukon in suburban Atlanta.  During the stop, the investigating officer conducted a search of the Yukon, discovered the secret compartment with 2.5 kilograms of cocaine and 595 grams of heroin inside.  Trial testimony indicated that Clark was in the process of transporting the seized drugs to Norfolk.  Joseph was arrested by the Clayton County PD later that evening in a car stereo installation shop named JMW Customs Auto in Rex, Georgia.  Police seized approximately $10,000 in cash from Joseph.  The police also seized from the shop a DVR security camera system on which were found videos depicting Joseph and Clark placing items in the secret compartment in the GMC Yukon.     

Clark, 36, also of Ellenwood, Georgia, was found guilty of three counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and was sentenced on March 20, 2015 to 240 months in prison.

 This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security        Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Darryl J. Mitchell prosecuted 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 No. 2:14-cr-8.

Updated April 28, 2015