Heroin Dealer Pleads Guilty Drug Trafficking and Firearm Charges
NORFOLK, Va. – Michael Lanell Easley, Jr., 36, of Portsmouth, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
According to court documents, Easley was the subject of an undercover buy operation. He maintained a residence on Riverview Avenue in Portsmouth for the purpose of manufacturing and distributing heroin. On Nov. 23, 2015, federal agents and state law enforcement officers attempted to execute an arrest and search warrant related to Easley. As the agents and officers approached Easley, he ingested a significant amount of heroin. In an effort to save Easley’s life, an ambulance was called and he was rushed to the hospital. Easley came close to cardiac arrest several times during the trip, but doctors were able to stabilize him and he survived.
During the search of Easley’s home, agents and officers recovered heroin and a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. They also recovered digital scales and strainers commonly used to prepare heroin for sale.
Easley will be sentenced on September 21 and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; and James A. Cervera, Chief of Police, Virginia Beach Police Department, made the announcement after Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller accepted the plea. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla and Andrew C. Bosse, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler.
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. 2:16-cr-44.