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Press Release

“King of Death” Heroin Supplier Sentenced to Life in Prison

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

NORFOLK, Va. – A New Jersey man was sentenced today to life in prison for leading, organizing, and supplying a heroin and fentanyl trafficking conspiracy that resulted in more than a dozen overdoses and at least two deaths.  

According to court documents, Kenneth Stuart, aka “Bones,” 44, of Newark, served as the out-of-state source of supply for a Virginia based heroin and fentanyl drug distribution ring led by Chesapeake ringleader, Erskine Dawson, Jr. aka “June,” “Junior.”  From March to December 2016, Stuart supplied between three and ten kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, which equates to approximately 7,500 to 25,000 individual doses. The narcotics, which were often concealed in stuffed animals, were trafficked by Stuart and several others at his direction from New Jersey to Virginia. The heroin and fentanyl was distributed in wax baggies stamped “King of Death,” “Last Call,” “Mad Max,” and “Chef Curry,” among many others. Stuart informed his co-conspirators about new labels and his desire to have them promoted. 

Stuart, who had 10 prior out-of-state drug convictions, was aware that at least two Virginians died from his fentanyl and that several others had suffered non-fatal overdoses. After hearing of at least one fentanyl death, Stuart laughed about it and told a co-conspirator that “another one bit the dust.” One co-conspirator told him “people go to life in prison for this,” yet Stuart instructed his co-defendants to continue selling his product and two months later another Virginian died from his drugs.

On Sept. 7, 2016, H.D. consumed fentanyl supplied by Dawson via Stuart and co-conspirator Clark and suffered a fatal overdose.  On Nov. 14, 2016, G.M. consumed heroin supplied by Dawson via Stuart and co-conspirator Clark and suffered a fatal overdose.  On Dec. 8, 2016, the DEA in partnership with officers from the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake police departments executed search warrants on motels in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk, made arrests, and seized cash, guns, and over 1,800 wax baggies of heroin and fentanyl. 

As of today eight people involved with this trafficking organization were indicted, convicted, and sentenced. Stuart’s seven co-conspirators have been sentenced to a combined 122 years in prison.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, 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 Col. K.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 Daniel T. Young, William D. Muhr, and Andrew C. Bosse 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 April 24, 2018

Drug Trafficking