5 plead guilty in Portsmouth heroin trafficking ring

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- Five people have pleaded guilty for their involvement in a heroin and fentanyl trafficking ring in Portsmouth.

The Department of Justice says that between March 2012 and July 2016, the suspects conspired to manufacture and distribute heroin in excess of 1,000 grams, primarily from a source in Baltimore. The drugs were transported to Hampton Roads, where they were repackaged using a hydraulic press and gel capsules for retail sales. They then became a supply source for others in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.

In December of 2015, police executed a search warrant on 25-year-old Detuan Gordon’s home, where they recovered opiates, scales, drug paraphernalia, and firearms.  When police arrested Gordon on June 8, they found nearly $50,000 in cash, a firearm, heroin, and fentanyl. 

Another suspect, 55-year-old Valerie Wilson, was arrested on June 2, in Moyock, North Carolina, after selling five grams of heroin. Her 6-year-old grandson was in her vehicle when she distributed the heroin.  

Two more members of the group led police on two separate police chase.  33-year-old Marque Wilson was found in possession of heroin and cocaine after he was arrested for eluding police on June 10.

In another pursuit, 33-year-old Nathaniel Powell led police on a high speed chase through residential neighborhoods of Portsmouth before he crashed into another driver. 

Powell, who is a paraplegic from a gunshot wound, used a cane to drive during the pursuit. Police recovered seven grams of fentanyl from Powell. After Powell’s arrest, he threatened to kill an a person he believed was working with police.

A federal grand jury charged the four suspects, along with 38-year-old Ernest Cross, with a 20-count indictment, including charges of Conspiracy to Manufacture, Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Distribution of Heroin and Fentanyl, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

Gordon faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life.  Cross and Powell face mandatory minimum sentences of five years and a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. The Wilsons face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

All five are scheduled for sentencing on various dates in January and February.


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