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Press Release

Members of Portsmouth Cocaine Trafficking Organization Plead Guilty

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

NORFOLK, Va. – LaCharles Hodges, a/k/a “Boogie,” 28, and Charles Battle, a/k/a “C.J.,” 37, of Portsmouth, Virginia, pleaded guilty this week for their involvement in a Portsmouth-based crack cocaine trafficking operation.  Norman Stephenson, 35, pleaded guilty February 3, 2016.  All were members of the “Corna Sto Boys,” a group formed in the late 1990s by individuals who were distributing crack cocaine near the corner of Elm Avenue and Fayette Street in Portsmouth, Virginia.  An affiliate of the group, Samuel Gray, a/k/a “Pig,” 35, also pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute crack cocaine. 

According to court documents, the “Corna Sto Boys” most recently dealt crack cocaine around an intersection across the street from Brighton Elementary School in Portsmouth.  The Portsmouth Police Department has identified over 30 individuals affiliated with the group, several of whom are currently being prosecuted by the Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.  In August 2015, the Portsmouth Police Department conducted 17 controlled purchases of crack cocaine from members of the organization.

Hodges, who pleaded guilty today, was one of the group’s primary suppliers of cocaine.  During a six-month period in 2014, he distributed approximately 30 kilograms of the drug.  Hodges was a supplier for several drug trafficking organizations in Hampton Roads, including one led by twin brothers Jason and Jeremy Saunders, who were federally prosecuted last year. 

Hodges and Gray face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. Battle and Stephenson face a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.  The statutory sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Washington Field Division; John S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and Tonya D. Chapman, Chief of the Portsmouth Police Department, made the announcement after Hodges’ plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Leonard.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew C. Bosse and Joseph E. DePadilla, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler, are prosecuting the cases.

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 Nos. 2:16-cr-16 (Stephenson); 2:16-cr-19(Gray); 2:16-cr-3 (Battle); and 2:16cr18 (Hodges). 

Updated March 18, 2016

Drug Trafficking