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Press Release

Newport News Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Receiving Over 200 Kilograms of Cocaine

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man pleaded guilty today to conspiring with members of an international drug trafficking organization to possess and distribute more than 200 kilograms of cocaine.

According to court documents, Darrell King, II, 45, was a kilogram dealer of cocaine in the Tidewater area. Between June and October 2016, King received four deliveries of cocaine that arrived in hidden compartments of tractor-trailers driven cross-country from California. During this time, King and his co-conspirators used various locations, including an auto-repair garage operated by a co-conspirator in Newport News, to receive deliveries and provide money for the purchase of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine. King or his co-conspirators attended the unloading of cocaine from the tractor-trailers and brought King’s money, which they had counted and vacuum sealed, to be sent back to their California suppliers.

In June 2016, King received a delivery of 70 kilograms of cocaine at his home in Hayes, Virginia. In August 2016, he received two additional deliveries, totaling 105 kilograms of cocaine, at the Newport News garage. On October 20, 2016, King was scheduled to receive a fourth shipment of cocaine at the garage. That day, law enforcement executed search warrants and seized approximately 54 kilograms of cocaine and almost $1 million of King’s money, which was intended to pay for the cocaine being delivered.

King pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. King is scheduled to be sentenced on September 8, and he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Five of King’s co-conspirators—Marvin O’Neal Carter, 50, Michael Stephen Kuna, 42, of Canada, brothers Hilario Rodriguez, 50, and Daniel Rodriguez, 49, both of California, and Christopher Passione, 34, of Pennsylvania—were sentenced previously in 2017 to terms ranging from 9 to 27 years in prison based on their roles in the conspiracy.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division; Kenneth Ferguson, Acting Chief of Hampton Police Division; and Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson accepted the plea.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Cross and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bibeane Metsch and Brian Samuels are prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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 Nos. 4:19-cr-77, 4:16-cr-76, and 4:18-cr-44.

Updated April 27, 2021

Drug Trafficking