Operation Goodfellas Results in Arrests of Multiple Hampton Roads Men for $19 Million Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
NORFOLK, Va. – Nearly 150 law enforcement officers from the FBI, DEA, Norfolk Police, and the U.S. Marshals participated in Operation Goodfellas this morning in Norfolk, executing arrest warrants on five Hampton Roads men for their alleged participation in a $19 million drug trafficking conspiracy. One man remains a fugitive.
“These defendants allegedly distributed approximately $19 million of illegal narcotics in Hampton Roads,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The resources and collaborative efforts used to investigate this alleged drug trafficking organization is a prime example of the positive impact of federal, state, and local cooperation. My sincere thanks to our law enforcement partners for their outstanding efforts on this case.”
According to allegations in the indictment, from approximately 2009 to present, several significant drug traffickers from the Ingleside section of Norfolk have been involved in distributing large quantities of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana. In September 2016, law enforcement began making controlled buys of cocaine from Reginald Sam Beale, 38, of Norfolk, and continued making controlled purchases of cocaine, heroin, and crack cocaine from Beale’s co-conspirators, including Maurice Antonio Barnes, 36, of Norfolk, Brandon Jaami Williams, 37, of Virginia Beach, Breon Lashawn Dixon, 39, of Chesapeake, and Johnell Deshawn Stepney, 34, of Norfolk. Through June 2018, law enforcement made a total of 29 controlled purchases from the defendants. Evidence obtained in the Summer of 2018 established that Barnes’ local source of supply was obtaining large amounts of cocaine and heroin from a Los Angeles based source of supply. The cocaine was being trucked to Virginia and off-loaded at a public storage facility in Virginia Beach in 10 and 20-kilo loads. In June 2018, Williams was arrested with 13 kilograms of cocaine (with a street value over $500,000) when he tried to transfer the cocaine from an apartment in the luxury ICON apartments in downtown Norfolk to another luxury apartment on Granby Street.
“This investigation represents the FBI's long-standing commitment to working with our law enforcement partners at every level to strangle the source and supply of dangerous drugs in our communities,” said Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office. “No one agency can do it alone and it is now more important than ever that we work together as one team in this fight. However, to make the greatest impact we also need allies in the community. Brazen criminals who poison and terrorize our neighborhoods often hide in plain sight, and citizens who come forward with information about criminal activity help law enforcement make Hampton Roads a safer place to live, work, and raise our families.”
Additional evidence led to the arrest of two members of the California and Mexico-based drug trafficking organization, Jose Moices Luna-Abrego, 20, of Los Angeles, and Ulises Abel Garcia-Razo, 39, of Mexico, after they flew to Virginia to attempt to retrieve some of the cocaine previously shipped, and collect over $500,000 in proceeds. Luna-Abrego, who is a United States citizen, and Garcia-Razo, a Mexican citizen, were arrested in July 2018 in a successful hotel sting operation conducted by FBI, DEA and Norfolk Police.
“For years, members of this organization have allegedly distributed significant quantities of narcotics throughout Hampton Roads,” said Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division. “These indictments and arrests represent the dismantling of an allegedly prominent drug trafficking organization responsible for the smuggling, transportation and distribution of substantial quantities of narcotics from Los Angeles to Norfolk. This successful investigation demonstrates the commitment of the DEA, FBI and Norfolk Police Department working together to protect the citizens of this community.”
A conservative estimate of the amount of narcotics this drug trafficking organization is responsible for distributing is 11 1/2 kilos of crack, 436 kilos of cocaine, 54 kilos of heroin, 1 ounce of fentanyl and over 20 pounds of marijuana, with a street value over $19 million.
The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), Operation Goodfellas. 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.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. 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.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, and Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherrie S. Capotosto is prosecuting the case.
The U.S. Marshals provided significant assistance with the execution of arrest warrants this morning.
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. 2:18-cr-156.