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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Heroin Dealer Sentenced to 22 Years for Drug and Gun Crimes

RICHMOND, Va. – A Fredericksburg man was sentenced today to 22 years in prison for his role in a heroin distribution conspiracy and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Dustin Washington, 35, joined a conspiracy in late 2014 with several other individuals to sell heroin in the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County areas. Over the course of the conspiracy Washington sold fentanyl, a more potent, synthetic form of heroin, at least three times, including twice to an undercover officer.  Subsequently, law enforcement used a confidential source to make controlled purchases of heroin from Washington in 2016. Audio recordings made during the controlled purchases revealed that Washington used other members of the conspiracy to provide him heroin to sell. On April 17, 2017, law enforcement executed search warrants on the homes of two other co-conspirators, finding more than 75 grams of heroin, and large quantities of cocaine and Molly. While executing a search warrant on Washington’s vehicle, law enforcement found an AR-15 rifle in the trunk. From 2014 through 2017, Washington and his co-conspirators distributed and possessed with the intent to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin.

On January 25, 2018, a federal jury convicted Washington of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin, and of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. At trial Washington testified that he was not a part of the conspiracy and had never seen the AR-15 found in his vehicle. At the sentencing hearing, the court found that Washington had committed perjury during his trial testimony, resulting in a sentencing guidelines range of 235-292 months.

Co-defendants Earnest Wright, Tyrell Brown, Michael Fox, and Sheronda Fox, all pleaded guilty and received sentences of 20, 18, 17, and 9 years, respectively.

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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen E. Anthony prosecuted the case. 

The case was investigated by the Fredericksburg FBI Narcotics Task Force, which includes the DEA, FBI, Virginia State Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, and Fredericksburg Police Department.

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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:17-cr-104.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated August 8, 2018