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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Operation Hardest Hit Defendants Sentenced to Prison

NORFOLK, Va. – Two Portsmouth men were sentenced today to a combined 35 years in prison for their role in a massive heroin and fentanyl drug trafficking conspiracy.

According to court documents, on August 14, over 300 law enforcement agents made arrests and executed search warrants in Virginia, Georgia, and New York. The takedown was the result of a multi-year, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation designated Operation Hardest Hit. 

According to court documents, law enforcement began investigating Leroy Perdue and his drug trafficking organization (Perdue DTO) in early 2016 following the heroin overdose death of a young resident of Chesapeake. With the participation of nearly two dozen Confidential Human Sources, law enforcement infiltrated the Perdue DTO and made 10 undercover controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl. On June 22, the investigative team arrested Rhadu Schoolfield in Norfolk with more than 800 grams of heroin after he returned from a trip to New York. According to the indictment, the Perdue DTO distributed in excess of 100 kilograms of heroin (approximately 250,000 doses) over a 10-year period. Members of the Perdue DTO were responsible for supplying a violent gang based in Portsmouth and continued to sell dangerous narcotics even after learning that their drugs resulted in death.

Abraham Atkins, 35, of Portsmouth was sentenced today to 20 years in prison. According to court documents Atkins was involved in the conspiracy for more than four years and distributed in excess of 6 kilograms of heroin. He served as the source of supply for two co-defendants and was supplied directly by Leroy Perdue. His involvement in the conspiracy was on the heels of having served nine years in state custody for a similar offense.

Eddie L. Tyson, 46, of Portsmouth was also sentenced today to 15 years in prison. His involvement in the conspiracy was for nine months, but it immediately followed after serving more than six years in state custody. Mr. Tyson received a sentencing enhancement for possessing a MAC-10 machine style pistol while distributing heroin.

The dozen individuals below have pleaded guilty.  The leader of the DTO, Leroy Perdue, has elected to go to trial on May 15, 2018:

 

Name, Age

Hometown

Guilty Plea

Sentence

Abraham Atkins, 35

Portsmouth

September 5, 2017

20 Years

Eddie L. Tyson, 46

Portsmouth

September 5, 2017

15 Years

Edward Muckle, 32

Portsmouth

September 5, 2017

December 13

Jamars Cooper, 26

Portsmouth

September 5, 2017

January 3, 2018

Victoria Waller, 42

Portsmouth

September 6, 2017

January 3, 2018

Dominic Diablo Mosley, 35

Portsmouth

September 6, 2017

January 4, 2018

Nicholas Godwin, 37

Portsmouth

September 6, 2017

January 10, 2018

Kevin Lawrence, 37

Portsmouth

September 7, 2017

January 11, 2018

Tywon McKelvy, 42

New York

October 3, 2017

January 25, 2018

Darion Perdue, 24

Portsmouth

October 17, 2017

January 29, 2018

Christina James

New York

October 18, 2017

February 7, 2018

Rhadu Schoolfield, 33

Portsmouth

October 18, 2017

February 12, 2018

 

 

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Division, Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of HSI Norfolk, Thomas L. Chittum, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, Kelvin L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, and Tonya D. Chapman, Chief of Portsmouth Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

 

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Tidewater Violent Crime Task Force, in partnership with HSI’s Norfolk Field Office, ATF, Chesapeake Police Department, Virginia State Police, and the Portsmouth Gang Suppression Unit. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla, Andrew C. Bosse, and William B. Jackson, are prosecuting the case.

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 No. 2:17-cr-116.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated December 13, 2017