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Press Release

Leader of Portsmouth Bloods Gang Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison

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

NORFOLK, Va. – Theodore M. Vann, aka Flatline, 33, of Portsmouth, who was the highest-ranking member of the Gorilla Mafia Piru, a Bloods gang set based in Portsmouth, was sentenced today to 192 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  In connection with this conviction, Vann forfeited two .38 caliber handguns, a 9MM Ruger P95 pistol, and a Hi-Point .40 caliber handgun. 

Vann pleaded guilty on June 25, 2015.  According to court documents, Vann, together with his fellow gang members, manufactured and distributed far in excess of one kilogram of heroin in Portsmouth from late 2013 to August 2014.  Vann conspired with co-conspirators to distribute heroin in the Ghent area of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and other places throughout the Eastern District of Virginia.  Vann travelled to New Jersey and to Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, to purchase wholesale amounts of heroin that were later “cut” with additives in Portsmouth stash houses to increase their volume and profitability.

Vann also purchased wholesale amounts of heroin during the course of the conspiracy from Alonzo Outten, 35, of Portsmouth, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Nov. 4, 2015.  Vann also purchased wholesale amounts of heroin from members of the Imperial Gangsta Bloods, whose leader, Christopher Smith, 32, of Portsmouth, was sentenced to life in prison on Oct. 30, 2015.

Special Agents from the FBI and officers from the Portsmouth Police Department conducted a series of undercover heroin and firearm purchases from the Gorilla Mafia Piru gang.  In one surveillance video recorded in a Portsmouth “stash house,” Vann is seen “cutting” heroin with additives and placing it into gel capsules for street-level distribution.  That day, Vann possessed approximately 390 grams of heroin, a large amount of U.S. currency, strainers, a cutting agent, capsules, and plastic bags.

Antwane Williams, the second-highest ranking member of the gang, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Sept. 24, 2015.  Jeffery Henry, an associate of the gang who helped expand its retail market and tested its heroin, was sentenced to 3 years in prison on Oct. 26, 2015.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; and John S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office with the assistance of the Portsmouth Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla and Andrew C. Bosse.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:15-cr-60.


Updated November 16, 2015

Drug Trafficking