NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Friday to leading and supplying a heroin and fentanyl drug trafficking ring that resulted in more than a dozen overdoses and at least two deaths.
43-year-old Kenneth Stuart, aka "Bones," faces a mandatory minimum life sentence.
According to court documents, Stuart was the out-of-state source of supply for a Virginia-based drug ring led by Erskine Dawson Junior of Chesapeake. From March to December of 2016, Stuart supplied between three and 10 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, which translates to anywhere from 7,500 to 25,000 individual doses.
The drugs were often hidden in stuffed animals and trafficked from New Jersey to Virginia. They were distributed in wax baggies stamped with "King of Death," "Last Call," "Mad Max" and "Chef Curry," among others.
In his guilty plea, Stuart wrote he was aware of at least two Virginians who died from his fentanyl, and several others who suffered non-fatal overdoses.
After hearing of at least one fentanyl death, Stuart reportedly told a co-conspirator that “another one bit the dust,” and instructed two co-defendants to continue selling his product.
Eight people involved with this trafficking organization have been indicted, including Stuart, and all eight have pleaded guilty.
Four of those federal defendants have been sentenced to a combined 70 years in prison.
Stuart's sentencing is scheduled for April 24, 2018.