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Press Release

Federal Prosecutions in Charlottesville Add Nine Firearms Charges To Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
19 Defendants in Operation Rock Bottom Accused of Distributing Meth, Fentanyl, Heroin, and Cocaine While Possessing Firearms

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh announced today the return of a second superseding indictment leveling nine additional charges, including firearms offenses, against some of the 19 defendants charged as part of the region’s largest-ever federal drug trafficking prosecution.

The original indictment, returned in August 2023, accuses 17 defendants with being part of a large-scale drug conspiracy that distributed  pound quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine in and around the Charlottesville region. Two additional defendants were added to a superseding indictment returned in September 2023.

The investigation itself was a major step forward for local, state, and federal law enforcement as the first prosecution brought after Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia were admitted to the Justice Department’s Project Safe Neighbors initiative.

The second superseding indictment, returned yesterday, adds nine new charges. Most notably it charges Landon Devon Fields, Bobby Eugene Christmas, Dashard Brown, Brooks Lorenzo Woodfolk, Norman Eugene Goins, Jr., and Laqueshia Chanice Burges each with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Fields, Christmas, and Woodfoolk were also charged with the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In addition to the firearms charges Fields, Christmas, Brown, and Woodfolk were charged with new drug distribution offenses.

Finally, the new indictment seeks the forfeiture of 25 firearms, ammunition, and over $70,000 in United States currency.

The indictment alleges that beginning in February 2023 and continuing through the date of the indictment, the defendants conspired with each other and others to distribute, and possess with the intent to distribute, more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine in and around the Charlottesville region.

Others charged include:

  • DuShaun Lamont Gregory, 36, of Henrico, Virginia.
  • Tyquane Pertell Gregory, 27, of Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Michael Edward Cornett, 29, of Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Antone Laron Harris, 41, of Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Ashlee Renee Morris, 37, of Barboursville, Virginia.
  • Shaheem Taishaun Michie, 18, of Arlington, Virginia.
  • John Ellis Turner III, 42, of Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Gary Wayne Woodson, 66, of Crozet, Virginia.
  • Cedric Trent, 25, of Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Dustin Lee Welch, 34, of Dillwyn, Virginia.

The Virginia State Police 3A Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Albemarle County Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security- HSI, the City of Charlottesville Police Department, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office, the Henrico County Police Department, and the United States Marshal’s Service are investigating the case. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Offices from the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, along with the Charlottesville Emergency Services and the Virginia National Guard have assisted in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald M. Huber is prosecuting the case of the United States.

The investigation, extradition, and conviction of these defendants is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated February 29, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses