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Press Release

Jamaican Man Sentenced for International Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A Jamaican man was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for his role in transporting 15 kilograms of cocaine from South Carolina to Virginia, as a drug courier for a Panamanian drug trafficking organization (DTO). 

According to court documents, in February 2016, Oraine Lawson, 26, and a co-conspirator traveled from Brooklyn to Charleston, South Carolina, for the purpose of receiving a shipment of cocaine. On the same day, law enforcement intercepted 15 kilograms of cocaine on a commercial shipping vessel at the Port of Charleston sent by the Panamanian DTO. The next day, Lawson obtained a bag containing 15 kilograms of cocaine in Charleston from a co-conspirator while under surveillance of law enforcement. Upon taking possession of the cocaine, Lawson and his co-conspirator boarded a commercial bus line and traveled to the Eastern District of Virginia, where law enforcement ultimately executed a drug interdiction operation. During the stop of the bus, law enforcement surveillance observed Lawson’s co-conspirator hide the bag containing the 15 kilograms of cocaine under a seat inside the bus.  Shortly thereafter, law enforcement officers seized the bag containing the 15 kilograms of cocaine.    

This case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Brother’s Grimm. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Robert Murphy, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration-Atlanta Division, Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, Christopher Healy, Acting Deputy Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Charlotte, Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police, and Humberto I. Cardounel, Jr., Chief of Henrico County Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik S. Siebert and Peter S. Duffey prosecuted 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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:16-cr-108.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated November 6, 2018

Drug Trafficking