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Press Release

Inmate at Central Virginia Regional Jail Pleads Guilty to Heroin Distribution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Derrick Lamont Colbert Admits to Distributing Heroin Inside the Facility

Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – An inmate, who smuggled heroin into the Central Regional Jail and then distributed the drug to other inmates, pled guilty today to federal drug charges, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle and Colonel Frank E. Dyer III, Superintendent of the Central Virginia Regional Jail, announced.


Derrick Lamont Colbert, 39, of Orange, Va., pled guilty this afternoon in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville to three counts of distribution of heroin. Colbert will be sentenced on August 25, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.


According to evidence presented at today’s hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald M. Huber, Colbert was sentenced by a state court on April 28, 2016 for gun and drug charges and received a 12-month active sentence. After sentencing, Colbert was immediately transported from court to the Central Virginia Regional Jail to serve his sentence. The following morning, Colbert was assigned to an “open” cell block, a block that housed many inmates.


Within hours of Colbert being assigned to his cell block, correctional officers at the Central Virginia Regional Jail responded to reports of a sick inmate in that same cell block. Officers discovered Victim A having what appeared to be a seizure. While medical personnel attended to Victim A and called emergency services, other correctional officers screened inmates housed in the cell block and identified four other inmates displaying similar symptoms of drug intoxication. All five inmates were transported to UVA Culpeper Hospital for treatment.


While the affected inmates were being treated at the hospital, other jail personnel conducted an investigation into the source of any drugs that may have been brought into the facility. Ultimately it was determined that Colbert had secreted heroin on his person prior to his sentencing hearing on this previous day and brought the substance into the jail where he distributed the narcotic to other inmates.


The investigation of the case was conducted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Central Virginia Regional Jail. Assistant United States Attorney Ronald M. Huber prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated May 16, 2017