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Justice News

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

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Two Men Sentenced in Multi-Kilogram Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

RICHMOND, Va. – Two men were sentenced today for being involved in a multi-kilogram cocaine trafficking ring in Emporia. Hershell Grant, 52, of Richmond, was sentenced to 14 years, while Marvin Baskerville, 44, of North Carolina, was sentenced 17 1/2 years in prison.

“Grant and Baskerville are responsible for distributing at least 130 kilograms of dangerous narcotics onto the streets of Emporia and the surrounding area,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Together with our law enforcement partners we are targeting areas where firearms and the drug trade are fueling violence and endangering the safety of those communities. I want to thank the FBI’s Richmond Field Office for their terrific work on this case.”

According to court documents, both men were members of a large cocaine trafficking conspiracy centered in Emporia. Grant supplied the members of this conspiracy with approximately 100 kilograms of cocaine over the last two years, while Baskerville was one of the conspiracy’s primary customers, purchasing approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine from the organization for redistribution in the Richmond area. Both men were found in possession of firearms when they were arrested earlier this year.

“The FBI works to identify and dismantle drug distribution networks which serve as pipelines of illegal narcotics into our communities, neighborhoods, and schools,” said Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office. “Grant and Baskerville introduced massive amounts of cocaine into Central Virginia communities - much of which was destined for redistribution in the City of Richmond. They learned the hard way that Virginia law enforcement is united and committed to keeping illegal drugs away from our cities and our communities. I want to thank the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for their outstanding work in prosecuting this case. I also want to thank the DEA, the Virginia State Police, Emporia Police, and Greensville County Sheriff’s Office for their partnership.”

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Richmond Area Violent Enterprises Task Force, as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), Operation Bulls Eye. 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.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, Ricky Pinksaw, Chief of Emporia Police, William T. Jarratt Jr., Sheriff of Greensville County, and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Duffey 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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:18-cr-22.

Drug Trafficking
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications
Updated August 30, 2018