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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 14, 2020

Petersburg Man Sentenced for Firearms and Drug Trafficking

RICHMOND, Va. – A Petersburg man was sentenced today to over five years in prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and distributing a mixture and substance containing fentanyl and acetylfentanyl.

According to court documents, Jacoby Williams, 34, is a previously convicted felon. In September 2018, Williams sold a confidential source a mixture and substance containing fentanyl and acetylfentanyl after the confidential source ordered heroin from Williams. Shortly thereafter, Williams sold a .357 Ruger revolver and ammunition to the confidential source. During the encounter, Williams wiped his fingerprints off of the firearm, and indicated that he had more firearms for sale.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; and Kenneth A. Miller, Director of Public Safety, Petersburg Bureau of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angela Mastandrea-Miller and Kenneth Simon, Jr. prosecuted 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 are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:19-cr-040.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs
Updated February 14, 2020