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Press Release

Iowa Woman Indicted on Fentanyl and Heroin Conspiracy Charges

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

NORFOLK, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging an Iowa woman with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and heroin.

According to the indictment, Latosha Prather, 36, of Des Moines, served as the out-of-state heroin and fentanyl supplier for Hampton Roads regional supplier Michelle Best.

According to the indictment, in December 2017, K.R. fatally overdosed from fentanyl supplied directly by Christopher Bardall. That fentanyl supply was traced to Bardall’s supplier, Darin Milligan, who obtained it from regional supplier Michelle Best. Prather, who operated a home-based child daycare service in Des Moines, supplied Best with multiple kilograms of fentanyl and heroin from her home in September 2017. In January 2018, Prather travelled from Des Moines to Virginia Beach where she sold another kilogram of heroin and fentanyl to Best in a Walmart parking lot located off Virginia Beach Boulevard. The investigative team conducted several controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl from Milligan and Best in early 2018, and in March 2018, the investigative team arrested Best and seized over $41,000 in cash, five firearms, and approximately 382 grams of a mixture of fentanyl and heroin. To date, the investigative team has traced at least $65,000 in cash deposits from Best to Prather.

Prather is charged with 10 counts including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and various distribution and possession with intent to distribute charges. If convicted, she faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Mark Herring, Attorney General of Virginia, Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police made the announcement after Prather’s arrest. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John F. Butler, Andrew C. Bosse, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Bird are prosecuting the case.

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. 2:19-cr-138 and 2:18-cr-147.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Contact

Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs
joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov

Updated August 21, 2019

Topics
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods