NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — A Norfolk man, a convicted felon, was sentenced on Thursday to 15 years in prison for trafficking heroin while armed.

According to court documents, 39-year-old Vernon Lewis Petway was caught in possession of roughly 97 grams of heroin and a firearm after transporting the heroin by bus from New York City to Norfolk.

At the time of his arrest, Petway was on supervision for previous federal drug and gun convictions. A convicted felon is prohibited from carrying firearms.

The case is part of the 8-month long Operation Sand Dragon investigation. It's a joint operation run by the Norfolk Police Department with assistance from the DEA, ATF, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Chesapeake Police Department.

During Operation Sand Dragon, law enforcement arrested 44 suspects for their roles in distributing drugs. Twelve of the suspects were involved in gang activity, which was a major focus of the investigation.

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