Three Sentenced for Roles in Heroin Conspiracy
Enterprise Trafficked Heroin from Baltimore to Front Royal
Harrisonburg, VIRGINIA – The first three defendants in a 13-member conspiracy that trafficked more than 1,000 grams of heroin from Baltimore to Front Royal were sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced.
Adrian Darnell Edwards, 22, of Front Royal, Va., was sentenced Monday to 190 months in prison. Alisha Marie Stocking, 21, of Toms Brook, Va., was sentenced to 48 months in prison. Stocking and Edwards both previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 grams or more of heroin.
Randall Freeman, 40, of Manassas, Va., was sentenced Monday to 48 months in prison. Freeman previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. On Tuesday, five additional members of the conspiracy: Tiara Bailey, Da’Shawn Edwards, Keon Hackley, Antwan Lucas, and Antwan Cottman are scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court.
“The United States Attorney’s Office will vigorously prosecute those who traffic heroin into our communities and profit from the addiction of others,” United States Attorney Cullen said today. “This office will continue to work with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to combat the flow of these deadly opioids from Baltimore and elsewhere and build cases that hold those accountable for their trafficking crimes.”
According to information and evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Donald R. Wolthuis, the conspiracy began as early as 2013 with the goal of trafficking heroin from Baltimore to the Front Royal area. On average, members of the conspiracy distributed one kilogram of heroin per week during the life of the conspiracy, which operated between 2013 and April 2016.
To insulate the identity of the sellers from the identifiy of the buyers, heroin customers in Virginia contacted a phone number in Maryland, either by voice call or text, which was controlled by conspiracy members and was known only as the “Chris phone.” “Chris” was not a real person, but rather was a fake name associated with the phone number customers contacted to place heroin orders. At the time an order was placed, customers were provided a street address in Baltimore where their order was to be picked up. When a customer arrived at the pre-determined address, the customer’s car was approached by other members of the conspiracy, a drug transaction took place, and the Virginia customers drove back to Front Royal. No socializing or small talk took place between the customer in the car and the seller on the street. The Virginia customers made these trips every day, sometimes multiple times per day. Once they returned to Front Royal, they both used the heroin and sold it to others.
The three defendants sentenced today were Virginia customers who trafficked heroin after it had arrived from Baltimore. According to information presented to the court, Edwards is a “chronic” heroin trafficker who had distributed the drug since 2013. He is also responsible for introducing his then girlfriend, co-defendant Alisha Stocking, to heroin and heroin distribution, when she was 16-years-old. The two were responsible for distributing more than 1,000 grams of the drug during the life of the conspiracy.
Freeman was a frequent traveler to Baltimore to purchase heroin. He sometimes traveled alone or with other members of the conspiracy. After purchasing the heroin, Freeman returned to the Front Royal area to use and distribute it.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Winchester Office, the Front Royal Office of the Virginia State Police Northwest Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, the Baltimore City Police Department, the Baltimore County Police Department, the Frederick, Maryland Sheriff’s Office, the Loudoun County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office and the Howard County, Maryland, Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Donald R. Wolthuis is prosecuting the case for the United States.