fentanyl traffickers sentenced

15 arrested in major sting operation charged with firearm and narcotics charges

In In the News, Narcotics by admin

~ In addition to federal charges against 12, state charges are being brought against 15 individuals as part of Operation Riptide ~

NORFOLK, Va. – In addition to 12 previously identified individuals who will face federal firearm and narcotics charges as a result of Operation Riptide, an additional 15 individuals have been arrested and charged in Norfolk with firearm and/or drug distribution charges. Those 15 individuals are:

1.     Banks, Walter Andrew 7.     Hall, Lashawn Deonte 13.  Reid, Ayanna L.
2.     Bray, Harvey 8.     Hill, James Edwards 14.  Small, Donna Michelle
3.     Edmonds, Tyler Marke 9.     Jackson, Michael
4.     Epps, Omar Kishaan 10.   Jones, Ikea
5.     Ervin, Benjamin 11.  Joyner, Urein Tonez
6.     Freeman, Alexander David 12. Mills, Corey Tonail

These state cases will be prosecuted in Norfolk jointly by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s Major Crimes and Emerging Threats Unit and Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Gregory Underwood’s Drug Prosecution Team. Assistant Attorney General James F. Entas will represent the Attorney General’s Office and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Catherine Paxson will represent the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office

“Heroin overdoses and gun violence remain a concern throughout Hampton Roads, which is why my team and I are committed to working with all our state and local partners to address these and other emerging public safety threats,” said Attorney General Herring. “It’s really encouraging to see our investment, commitment, and partnership with local and federal partners produce results.”

“The impact of gun violence and illegal drug activity in Norfolk far exceeds the people named in criminal cases,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Underwood. “Everyone who lives, works, and spends time here is affected.  I’m thankful the collaborative work of Operation Riptide holds offenders accountable for their dangerous actions and supports citizens who deserve a safer Norfolk.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) began Operation Riptide in the Fall of 2016 in collaboration with the Norfolk Police Department, Virginia State Police, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Virginia Attorney General’s Office, and Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. More than 30 individuals throughout Hampton Roads were identified who were illegally selling firearms, heroin, and/or other narcotics.  Operation Riptide resulted in the recovery of over 50 firearms (including at least 3 assault rifles, 2 sawed off shotguns, and 47 hand guns, 18 of which had obliterated serial numbers or were stolen), over 170 grams of heroin, 65 grams of powder cocaine, 290 grams of crack cocaine, and a bullet proof vest.

This case was investigated by the ATF’s Norfolk Field Office, the Norfolk Police Department, and the Virginia State Police, with additional assistance from the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.