Skip to main content
Press Release

Hampton Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Overdose Resulting in Death Case

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Benjamin Frank Barrett, Jr., 47, of Hampton, was sentenced today to 264 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release for his participation in a conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, as well as distribution of fentanyl which resulted in death. 

Barrett pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2015. According to court documents, from April 2010 toJune 11, 2015, Barrett was the organizer and leader of a heroin drug trafficking organization that operated in Newport News, Hampton and other nearby cities. In addition to distributing heroin directly to customers, Barrett also utilized “runners,” such as co-conspirators Cecil Edwards and Esstease Bellamy, who sold heroin to users in the community.  In June 2014, Barrett sold fentanyl, also known as “China White,” in addition to heroin.  Robert Shedd, 49, of Newport News, died on June 12, 2014, of a drug overdose and the fentanyl he ingested was distributed by Barrett. 

Bellamy pleaded guilty on Oct. 6, 2015, and will be sentenced on Jan. 14, 2016.  Edwards pleaded guilty on July 22, 2015, and was sentenced on Oct. 21, 2015, to 40 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Gregory J. Cherundolo, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Richmond Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

This case was investigated by DEA’s Richmond Field Division. Yvonne Garcia and Ivana Nizich from the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division 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 No. 4:15cr47.

Updated January 13, 2016

Drug Trafficking