You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Operation Hardest Hit Heroin Trafficker Sentenced to Prison

NORFOLK, Va. – A Portsmouth man was sentenced today to 24 years in prison for his role in a massive heroin and fentanyl drug trafficking conspiracy.

According to court documents, on Aug. 14, 2017, 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, 33, of Portsmouth, 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.

Schoolfield, who was the chief lieutenant and face of the drug trafficking organization, was sentenced today to 24 years in prison. Schoolfield managed his own network of distributors, traveled between New York and Baltimore to obtain wholesale amounts of raw heroin to bring back for distribution in Hampton Roads, and used his status as a local celebrity and rapper to advertise and recruit for the organization. Those advertising and recruiting efforts included his posting on YouTube the music video for his single, “Dumb Hard,” which lyrics cast his criminal conduct in a positive light.

The dozen individuals below previously pleaded guilty. The leader of the DTO, Leroy Perdue, is scheduled for trial on May 15. 

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

9 years

Jamars Cooper, 26

Portsmouth

September 5, 2017

11 years

Victoria Waller, 42

Portsmouth

September 6, 2017

10 years, 6 months

Dominic Diablo Mosley, 35

Portsmouth

September 6, 2017

15 years

Nicholas Godwin, 37

Portsmouth

September 6, 2017

12 years, 4 months

Kevin Lawrence, 37

Portsmouth

September 7, 2017

13 years

Tywon McKelvy, 42

New York

October 3, 2017

March 7

Darion Perdue, 24

Portsmouth

October 17, 2017

March 19

Christina James

New York

October 18, 2017

5 years

Rhadu Schoolfield, 33

Portsmouth

October 18, 2017

24 years

 

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting 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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (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, Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent, 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.

This case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime 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.

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. 2:17-cr-116.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated February 22, 2018