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Press Release

Hampton cocaine trafficker pleads guilty to federal drug and firearm crimes

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton man pled guilty today to cocaine trafficking and illegally possessing firearms.

According to court documents, on Jan. 15, 2024, an officer with the Newport News Police Department (NNPD) observed Erick Allen Osby, 29, showing a firearm to another individual in a parking lot on Warwick Boulevard. Osby then walked back to his vehicle and placed the firearm on the front passenger seat, then walked across Warwick. The officer confirmed that the firearm was in the vehicle and notified uniformed officers, who were on the other side of Warwick for an unrelated matter.

As officers observed Osby interacting with another individual, they noticed a partially concealed handgun in Osby’s pants pocket. An officer approached Osby, but before contact could be made, Osby ran back across Warwick toward his vehicle. During the short foot pursuit, Osby threw a cellphone and a loaded .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun into the median before being apprehended.

Investigators recovered a 9mm semiautomatic handgun from the vehicle, as well as a shotgun cartridge, two digital scales, and assorted drug paraphernalia. They also recovered 20.72 grams of cocaine from Osby’s pocket. As a previously convicted felon, Osby cannot legally possess a firearm or ammunition.

Osby pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 13, 2025, and faces up to 20 years in prison for the drug charge and a consecutive sentence of a mandatory minimum of five years and up to life in prison for the firearm charge. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Craig Kailimai, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division; and Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter G. Osyf is prosecuting the case.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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. 24-cr-26.

Contact

Press Officer
USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov

Updated June 25, 2024

Topics
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses