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Hampton heroin dealer pleads guilty to leading drug trafficking ring

Hampton heroin dealer pleads guilty to leading family-run drug trafficking ring.

HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- A Hampton man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to leading a family-run heroin trafficking organization.

William Arthur Joe's organization is responsible for distributing large quantities of heroin in Virginia. The 67-year-old was the leader of the drug trafficking organization on the Virginia Penninsula. He would get his heroin supply from sources in New York and New Jersey and then sell it in the Hampton Roads Area.

“Mr. Joe led a large-scale heroin trafficking conspiracy for many years in Hampton Roads,” G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a press release. “Investigating and prosecuting heroin and fentanyl trafficking crimes is a top priority of this office as we continue to battle this deadly epidemic. I want to thank our investigative partners at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Norfolk for their terrific work on this important case.”

According to court documents, as the head of the organization, Joe hired multiple family members and acquaintances to distribute the heroin. His organization was the focus of a two-year investigation involving controlled purchases of heroin, law enforcement surveillance and multiple wiretaps. The organization operated from at least 2014 until Joe's arrest in June of 2017. It was responsible for distributing more than three kilograms of heroin.

Joe pleaded guilty to continuing criminal enterprise and faces a mandatory 20 years in prison when sentenced on September 24.

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