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Justice News

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

Monday, December 1, 2014

Final Four Members Of Major Heroin Distribution Ring Plead Guilty

In All, 15 Local Defendants And New York Heroin Source Have Been Charged

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA – The final four members of a heroin distribution ring that brought hundreds of grams of heroin per week into the Winchester area, pled guilty late last week in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg to federal drug conspiracy charges. In all, the conspiracy brought multiple kilograms of heroin into the area during the life of the conspiracy.

In all, thirteen individuals have been convicted of drug distribution conspiracy and an additional defendant from New York has been arrested and charged via federal criminal complaint.

“Mr. Jones and his co-conspirators supervised a significant illegal business that imported heroin from New York and distributed it across Virginia,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today.  “We will continue to do all we can to identify patterns of heroin trafficking and dismantle the criminal conspiracies that bring this poison into our communities.  We must also do all we can to enhance prevention efforts and provide treatment services to those struggling with addiction.  A comprehensive approach is essential if we are going to stem the tide of heroin abuse in our communities.”

“This is another excellent example of Inter-Agency cooperation in eradicating a violent and dangerous drug gang. I commend the courage and dedication of all the agents and officers, whether they be ATF, State or Local, who worked so diligently on this investigation to bring it to its successful conclusion” said Charles E. Smith, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division. “It is part and parcel of ATF’s “Frontline Initiative” which concerns the investigating and targeting of the most violent and destructive elements of society today.”

As of last week, thirteen defendants have pled guilty to drug distribution conspiracy charges. Those defendants who have pled guilty are as follows:

  • Ronny Maurice Jones, 37, of Woodstock, Virginia
  • Kareem Allen Shaw, 39, of Oxon Hill, Maryland
  • Columbus Butler, 59, of Edinburg, Virginia
  • Charles William Smith Jr., 47, of Edinburg, Virginia
  • Joshua Adam Pettyjohn, 29, of Woodstock, Virginia
  • Logan Montgomery Rose, 26, of Woodstock, Virginia
  • Arthur Marquinton Ronnelle Kinnard, 29, of Winchester, Virginia
  • Ashton Grace Kern, 23, of Strasburg, Virginia
  • Francis D. Alvarez, 38, of Woodstock, Virginia
  • Arthur Sean Bailey, 36, of Sterling, Virginia
  • Kimberle Ann Hodsden, 31, of Stafford, Virginia
  • Keith Thomas Marshall,  39, of Reston, Virginia
  • Ryan Kenneth McQuinn, 28, of Stafford, Virginia

In addition, Matthew Santiago, of New York, has been arrested and charged via a federal indictment with heroin distribution conspiracy charges.

According to evidence presented at various hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Wolthuis, Jones and Shaw were major heroin cocaine distributors in the western and eastern districts of Virginia. Jones supplied heroin to sub-distributors for locations in the Western District of Virginia (Rockingham County, Frederick County, Shenandoah County, Page County, Warren County) while Shaw controlled the flow of heroin to locations in the Eastern District of Virginia (Prince William County, Stafford County).

The United States has put forth evidence that Jones was bringing approximately 80-150 grams of heroin into the Western District of Virginia each week. Shaw, operating in the Eastern District of Virginia, was bringing in hundreds grams of heroin each week. In addition to charges again Jones, Shaw and their local sub-distributors, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia has also arrested and charged, via a federal indictment, Matthew Santiago, the man charged as the source of heroin for both Jones and Shaw.

In addition, several firearms were recovered as part of the investigation, including one stolen pistol from Shenandoah County.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Martinsburg Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Washington Field Division, the Virginia State Police’s Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force and RUSH Drug Task Force and the Stafford County Special Investigation Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Donald Wolthuis is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 15, 2015