Newport News Man Sentenced For Participating In Drug Conspiracy
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Kenneth Matthews, 36, of Newport News was sentenced today to 264 months in prison for his participation in a drug conspiracy and for being an accessory after the fact to murder.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, and Joseph A. Moore, Interim Chief of Police, Newport News Police Department made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.
Matthews pled guilty on July 15, 2013 to a conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and accessory after the fact to murder in reference to his disposal of a firearm used in the murder of Christian Hatch.
According to court documents, Matthews associated with members of a criminal organization known as “Thug Relations,” operating in the Aqueduct Apartments, St. Michael’s Apartments, Warwick Lawns, Warwick Town Homes, Heritage Trace Apartments, Mariner’s Landing Apartments, Sharon Drive and the Savage Drive areas of Newport News. The defendant and others conspired to distribute cocaine and cocaine base in order to make money from their narcotics distribution. Matthews was the secondary source of supply for many of the Thug Relations gang members. On November 4, 2009, the defendant provided a firearm to a known associate of Thug Relations who was involved in a gang related feud with several other individuals associated with a rival gang known as the "Black P-Stones", which dispute included the location of drug trafficking activities. The associate took the firearm and shot into an occupied dwelling resulting in the death of Christian Hatch and injuries to other rival gang members. Following the murder, the firearm was returned to Matthews who took the firearm out of the Commonwealth of Virginia in an effort to hinder the apprehension of the shooter. Matthews knew the firearm had been used in the murder.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Newport News Police Department and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Eric M. Hurt prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.