Skip to main content
Press Release

Operation California Dreamin Nets Richmond Cocaine Trafficker

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man pleaded guilty today after being caught in a law enforcement controlled delivery operation involving the transportation of 9 kilograms of cocaine from Los Angeles to Richmond.

“Brown planned on distributing at least 9 kilograms of dangerous narcotics onto the streets of Richmond and beyond,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Investigating and prosecuting drug traffickers continues to be a top priority, and I want to thank our local, state, and federal partners for their outstanding work on this case.”

According to court documents, on August 6, Frankie Brown, 34, provided a duffle bag containing 9 kilograms of cocaine to an individual in Los Angeles for delivery to him in Richmond. On August 7, Texas Department of Public Safety law enforcement officials stopped this individual in Amarillo, Texas, and seized the cocaine from his possession. On August 10, DEA agents arrested Brown when he took custody of what he believed to be his 9 kilograms of cocaine and $6,375.

Brown pleaded guilty to attempted possession with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and up to life in prison when sentenced on Feb. 21, 2019. 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.

Operation California Dreamin was investigated as part of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik S. Siebert is prosecuting 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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:18-cr-104.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated November 21, 2018

Drug Trafficking