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Press Release

“King of Death” Dealer Sentenced for Heroin and Fentanyl Distribution

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

NORFOLK, Va. – A Chesapeake man was sentenced today to 36 years in prison for his role in leading a drug trafficking conspiracy that resulted in more than a dozen overdoses and multiple deaths.

“Dawson’s predatory and cold-hearted actions led to the death of two Virginians,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who seek to prey upon vulnerable members of our community, however, law enforcement does not possess the complete answer. We must continue to strive for increases in opioid awareness, education, prevention and treatment so that our communities can rid themselves of this invasive agent of human misery.”

According to court documents, Erskine A. Dawson, 33, managed more than half a dozen individuals who sold between three and ten kilograms of heroin from a Studios 4 Less motel on Military Highway in Virginia Beach. Dawson’s New Jersey sources of supply, Rashad Clark and Kenneth Stuart, aka “Bones,” used stuffed animals to conceal the heroin and fentanyl as they were transported down the East Coast on commercial buses.

“Today’s sentencing sends a strong signal across the Commonwealth that those who put poison on our streets, profit off addiction and threaten the lives of Virginians will be held accountable for their actions,” said Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia. “The partnerships we’ve made at the local, state and federal levels continue to put dangerous dealers and traffickers behind bars and help keep Virginians safe as we continue our relentless work to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic.”  

According to court documents, Dawson’s organization was known for its potent heroin and fentanyl, which was distributed in wax baggies stamped “King of Death,” “Last Call,” and “Steph Curry,” among many others. Dawson and his dealers knew that multiple individuals had overdosed and even died using the product, yet continued to sell it anyway.

“Dawson’s knowledge of the damage and possible death he was dealing to his customers shows his blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life,” said Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division. “He and other dealers like him will be held accountable for their actions. We are pleased to be part of a successful prosecution team that puts death-dealers like Dawson in jail.”

Dawson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to manufacture and distribute heroin and fentanyl, distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, and possession of firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime on July 18.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia, Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, and Kelvin L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew C. Bosse and Daniel T. Young 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. 2:17-cr-61.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated November 1, 2017

Drug Trafficking