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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Takedown Results in Six Arrested on Drug Trafficking Charges

RICHMOND, Va. – Over 80 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers and agents executed a coordinated takedown today in several Richmond neighborhoods resulting in six arrests of individuals on drug trafficking charges and the recovery of multiple firearms, ammunition, magazines, and illegal drugs.

“This operation was strategically centered on some of the hardest hit areas in Richmond,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This federal, state, and local violent crime suppression operation focused on alleged violent offenders, gang members, drug traffickers, and illegal firearm possessors who are allegedly responsible for an outsized contribution to violence in Richmond communities. Lest there be any doubt, crime doesn’t self-quarantine and our brave law enforcement partners will not allow the rule of law to disintegrate amidst this pandemic.”

The operation was primarily executed in the Mosby Court, Creighton Court, and Whitcomb Court communities. Additionally, law enforcement officers conducted four search warrants at various locations within Richmond that resulted in the seizure of four firearms, magazines and ammunition, $1500 in cash, and illicit narcotics including heroin, crack, and marijuana.

Defendants Estee Washington, Straughter, Rowe, Mitchell Washington, Lance, and Williams were all arrested this morning and made their initial appearances this afternoon in federal court in Richmond. Defendants Ross and Harris were already in custody.  

Below is a table listing the defendants, age, hometown, and respective charges.

Name, Age

Hometown

Charge(s)

Estee Washington, 29

Richmond

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance

Japorium Straughter, 28

Richmond

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance

Kamal Ross, 27

Richmond

Distribution of Cocaine

Chanrelle Harris, 29

Richmond

Distribution of Fentanyl

Clarence Rowe, 48

Richmond

Distribution of Fentanyl and Cocaine

Mitchell Washington, 45

Richmond

Distribution of Heroin and Fentanyl

Tirelle Lance, 32

Richmond

Distribution of Cocaine

Tavarus Jermaine Williams, 40

Richmond

Distribution of Heroin and Fentanyl

 

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; Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent; William C. Smith, Chief of Richmond Police; Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; Nick Proffitt, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia; David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C.; and Mark Herring, Virginia Attorney General, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik S. Siebert, Heather Hart Mansfield, Kenneth R. Simon, Jr., Stephen E. Anthony, and Janet Jin Ah Lee are prosecuting the cases.

The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority provided significant assistance to law enforcement during this operation.

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 Nos. 3:20-mj-44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 50.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated March 19, 2020