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Press Release

Man Sentenced for Possessing Significant Quantities of Crack Cocaine

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

NORFOLK, Va. – A Norfolk man was sentenced today to 12 years in prison for possessing with the intent to distribute approximately 600 grams of crack cocaine.

According to court documents, Paul Cosmos Voskanyan, 35, had been wanted on felony warrants out of Virginia Beach since February 2018. In April 2019, members of the Virginia Beach Police Department tracked Voskanyan to a hotel in the City of Chesapeake. Chesapeake SWAT officers responded to assist with the arrest. Voskanyan eventually exited the hotel and made his way towards an unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot. Knowing his tendency to flee, officers moved in to take him into custody before he could enter the vehicle. Voskanyan tried to run and actively resisted their commands but was ultimately apprehended. Officers searched Voskanyan, a large duffel bag he had been carrying, and the vehicle he was about to enter. In total, law enforcement recovered approximately 630 grams of crack cocaine, $180,000 in cash, 16 grams of marijuana, 10 cell phones, and a Glock 17 firearm. 

This case is part of Operation High Tide, a proactive, large-scale narcotics trafficking and firearms investigation that focused on high-impact targets driving crime in some of the hardest hit neighborhoods in Hampton Roads.

This case is also 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; Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; Paul W. Neudigate, 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 Kristin Bird 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 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-170.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated November 10, 2020

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