Norfolk, Va. – Eleven people were arrested across three states this morning for their role in a large-scale heroin and fentanyl drug trafficking organization in Portsmouth.
Over 300 law enforcement agents made the arrests and executed 10 search warrants in Virginia, Georgia, and New York. The takedown is the result of a multiyear, multijurisdictional, and multiagency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation designated Operation Hardest Hit.
According to the indictment, law enforcement began investigating Leroy Perdue and his drug trafficking organization (Perdue DTO) in early 2016 following the heroin overdose death of a young resident of Chesapeake. With the participation of nearly two dozen Confidential Human Sources, law enforcement infiltrated the Perdue DTO and made 10 undercover controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl. On June 22, the investigative team arrested Rhadu Schoolfield in Norfolk with 800 grams of heroin after he returned from a trip to New York.
“Tackling the opioid epidemic is one of our top priorities,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Through the combined efforts of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners we will continue to strangle the supply of heroin and fentanyl and bring to justice those who profit from other people’s misery.”
According to the indictment, the Perdue DTO distributed in excess of 100 kilograms of heroin (approximately 250,000 doses) over a 10-year period. Members of the Perdue DTO were responsible for supplying a violent gang based in Portsmouth and continued to sell dangerous narcotics even after learning that their drugs resulted in death. The United States is alleging that at least two members of the Perdue DTO have ties to criminal street gangs and that other members possessed firearms and ammunition. Ten of the 12 federal defendants are convicted felons.
“My top priority as attorney general is keeping Virginians and their families safe, which is why my team and I are relentlessly pursuing the heroin and fentanyl traffickers who profit off addiction and endanger the lives of Virginians,” said Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia. “Operation Hardest Hit is another important step in addressing what’s become one of Virginia’s most urgent public safety and public health threats. This operation, along with the work of the Hampton Roads Heroin Working Group, shows what can happen when local, state, and federal partners are committed to working cooperatively and collaboratively. The results speak for themselves and I hope communities around the country will look to this region as an example of what can be accomplished when we come together as a community.”
“This case demonstrates the steadfast commitment of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to protecting the public from destructive enterprises that eat at the heart and soul of our community,” said Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Division. “Operation Hardest Hit is an example of a coordinated, intelligence-driven strategy to choke the supply of these dangerous drugs by targeting the high level traffickers and criminal organizations most responsible for terrorizing our neighborhoods and poisoning our community.”
“This team effort helped take down a massive heroin and fentanyl drug trafficking organization that spanned across multiple states,” said Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of HSI Norfolk. “Today, I’m proud to say that our law enforcement actions saved lives. We’ll continue to be relentless in our pursuit of those who seek to exploit and harm our citizens with lethal drugs in communities across the country.”
The below individuals were among a dozen named in a 25-count indictment by returned by a federal grand jury on August 9:
Leroy L. Perdue, aka Dink, Big Heat, Big Cuz/45/Portsmouth/Conspiracy, Possession with intent to distribute heroin, Interstate travel in aid of racketeering
Rhadu J. Schoolfield, aka Big Face Dolla/33/Portsmouth/Conspiracy, Felon in possession of firearms, Interstate travel in aid of racketeering
Tywon McKelvy/42/New York/Conspiracy
Darion D. Perdue, aka Son Son/24/Portsmouth/Conspiracy
Abraham A. Atkins/35/Portsmouth/Conspiracy, Distribution, Possession with intent to distribute, Maintaining a drug-involved premises, Using a communications facility to cause, commit, and facilitate felony violations of the Controlled Substances Act
Valeria A. Waller/42/Portsmouth/Conspiracy; Distribution; Possession with intent to distribute; Felon in possession of a firearm
Eddie L. Tyson/46/Portsmouth/Conspiracy, Maintaining a drug-involved premises, Distribution of Fentanyl
Jamars A. Cooper, aka Mall/26/Portsmouth/Conspiracy
Dominic Diablo Mosley/35/Portsmouth/Conspiracy
Edward Muckle, aka Eddie/32/Portsmouth/Conspiracy, Maintaining a drug-involved premises
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Division, Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of HSI Norfolk, Michael B. Boxler, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division, Kelvin L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, and Tonya D. Chapman, Chief of Portsmouth Police, made the announcement after arrests were made.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Tidewater Violent Crime Task Force, in partnership with HSI’s Norfolk Field Office, ATF, Chesapeake Police Department, Virginia State Police, and the Portsmouth Gang Suppression Unit. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla, Andrew C. Bosse, William B. Jackson, and Kevin Hudson are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:17-cr-116.