NORFOLK, Va. – Gregory Hatt, 28, of Virginia Beach, pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, distribution of heroin resulting in death, distribution of heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, and the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
“Hundreds of people die each year in the Commonwealth from heroin and opioid overdoses, and the Tidewater area leads the state in heroin overdose deaths, with 87 fatalities in the first nine months of 2015,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Make no mistake, arrests and criminal prosecutions will not alone solve this problem, but they are an important part of the solution. We are committed to working with the Virginia Office of the Attorney General and our partners across federal, state, and local law enforcement to combat the abuse of heroin and prescription opiates, which can have devastating effects on victims, their families, and our communities.”
“The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those who are driving this deadly heroin wave, taking lives and destroying families in the Tidewater area,” said Timothy Quick, Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Norfolk Field Office. “NCIS will use our unique authorities, resources and capabilities in combating this growing problem, to help protect Sailors, Marines, Department of the Navy civilians, DON families, and the communities in which we work and live.”
“This case is indicative of the popularity and prevalence of heroin in the Tidewater Area of Virginia, and the longstanding, effective partnerships between the Local, State, and Federal agencies in the region, tasked with these investigations,” said William Dean, Deputy Chief of Virginia Beach Police.
In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Hatt allegedly sold heroin, cocaine, and other narcotics to local residents out of a house he rented in Virginia Beach from December 2014 through July 2015. On Dec. 26, 2014, Hatt distributed heroin at his house to Monica Beaudry, a 23-year-old Virginia Beach woman, who later overdosed. Hatt’s roommate implored him to call 911, but Hatt refused. After some delay, Hatt drove her to Chesapeake Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. Hatt was aware of Beaudry’s death, but continued to distribute heroin from his residence and from other Virginia Beach locations through July 2015. On July 24, 2015, law enforcement agents with NCIS and Virginia Beach Police Department executed a search warrant on Hatt’s residence. The agents found over 36 grams of heroin, 17 grams of cocaine, various drug paraphernalia, and multiple firearms including a fully loaded sawed-off shotgun.
Hatt was charged via superseding indictment on Dec. 18, 2015, and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on May 19, 2016. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Timothy Quick, Special Agent in Charge of NCIS Norfolk; and William Dean, Deputy Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alyssa Nichol and John Butler 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. 2:15-cr-140.