NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The head of a drug trafficking operation pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges related to the production and distribution of heroin and fentanyl.
Erskine A. Dawson managed more than half a dozen people who sold heroin at a motel off of Military Highway in Virginia Beach.
Court records show Dawson's source of drugs was Kenneth Stuart, also known as "Bones." Stuart was in New Jersey and used stuffed animals to hide and move drugs down the East Coast on buses.
Dawson's organization was known for distributing heroin and fentanyl in baggies stamped "King of Death," "Last Call," "Steph Curry," and other names. Investigators said Dawson and the people working for him knew that several people overdosed or died after using the drug products but continued to sell the items.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a news release:
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, after one heroin overdose death, Dawson called Stuart to inform him what had happened – and Stuart advised Dawson to continue selling the heroin, which he did. In December 2016, officers from Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Police Departments executed warrants on Dawson and his co-conspirators at two motels and recovered nearly 2,000 wax baggies containing heroin and fentanyl. In Dawson’s rooms, officers recovered multiple loaded firearms, a digital scale, several thousand dollars in cash, and a stuffed animal whose stitching had been pulled apart.
Dawson pleaded guilty to several charges and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison.
His sentencing is scheduled for November 1.