Norfolk, Va. – A Norfolk man pleaded guilty today for his role in leading a drug trafficking conspiracy that resulted in more than a dozen overdoses and multiple deaths.
According to court documents, Erskine A. Dawson, 33, managed more than half a dozen individuals who sold between three and 10 kilograms of heroin from a motel off of Military Highway in Virginia Beach. Dawson’s source of supply, a New Jersey man named Kenneth Stuart, a/k/a “Bones,” used stuffed animals to conceal the narcotics as they were transported down the East Coast on commercial buses.
According to court documents, Dawson’s organization was known for its potent heroin and fentanyl, which was distributed in wax baggies stamped “King of Death,” “Last Call,” and “Steph Curry,” among many others. Dawson and his dealers knew that multiple individuals had overdosed and even died using the product, yet continued to sell it anyway.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, after one heroin overdose death, Dawson called Stuart to inform him what had happened – and Stuart advised Dawson to continue selling the heroin, which he did. In December 2016, officers from Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Police Departments executed warrants on Dawson and his co-conspirators at two motels and recovered nearly 2,000 wax baggies containing heroin and fentanyl. In Dawson’s rooms, officers recovered multiple loaded firearms, a digital scale, several thousand dollars in cash, and a stuffed animal whose stitching had been pulled apart.
Dawson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to manufacture and distribute heroin and fentanyl, distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and possession of firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Dawson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced on November 1.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police; and Kelvin L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew C. Bosse and Daniel T. Young are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:17-cr-61.