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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 21, 2017

Two Sentenced for Roles in International Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

RICHMOND, Va. – A Charlotte woman was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for her role in an international drug trafficking conspiracy.

Tammie D. Diggs, 48, pleaded guilty on January 13. According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, on March 12, 2016, Diggs traveled from Charlotte, North Carolina to Charleston, South Carolina, to receive 22 kilograms of cocaine from a Panamanian drug trafficking organization (DTO) for domestic distribution. On the same day, law enforcement intercepted 22 kilograms of cocaine on a commercial shipping vessel at the Port of Charleston sent by the Panamanian DTO. The next day, Diggs obtained a bag containing 22 kilograms of cocaine in Charleston from a co-conspirator while under surveillance of law enforcement, and upon taking possession of the cocaine, Diggs traveled to Spartanburg, South Carolina. Later that day, law enforcement executed a traffic stop on the vehicle driven by Diggs and seized the bag containing the 22 kilograms of cocaine.

Diggs’s co-conspirator, Lamar Gayle, 34, of Brooklyn, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday. According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, on Feb. 12, 2016, Gayle traveled from Brooklyn to Charleston to receive 15 kilograms of cocaine from a Panamanian drug trafficking organization (DTO) for domestic distribution. On the same day, law enforcement intercepted 15 kilograms of cocaine on a commercial shipping vessel at the Port of Charleston sent by the Panamanian DTO. The next day Gayle obtained a bag containing 15 kilograms of cocaine in Charleston from a co-conspirator while under surveillance of law enforcement, and upon taking possession of the cocaine, Gayle boarded a commercial bus and traveled to the Eastern District of Virginia. The next day law enforcement executed a drug interdiction operation in Sussex County on the commercial bus on which Gayle was traveling. During the stop of the bus, law enforcement surveillance observed Gayle hide the bag containing the cocaine under a seat inside the bus, and shortly thereafter seized the bag containing the 15 kilograms of cocaine.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Daniel Salter, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Atlanta Division; Nick Annan, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Charleston; Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent, Virginia State Police; and Humberto I. Cardounel, Jr., Chief of Henrico County Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik Siebert and 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. 3:16-cr-108 (Gayle), and 3:16-cr-117 (Diggs).

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated April 21, 2017