Three Em­po­ria res­i­dents sen­tenced for drug traf­fick­ing con­spir­acy

The Progress-Index - - LOCAL -

RICH­MOND — Three de­fen­dants were sen­tenced in March to a com­bined 36 years in prison for par­tic­i­pat­ing in a lengthy and ex­ten­sive drug traf­fick­ing con­spir­acy.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Steve Allen Hicks, 42, Brit­tany Owens, 28, and Dex­ter Banks, 30, all of Em­po­ria, Vir­ginia, were mem­bers of a drug traf­fick­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion which op­er­ated in Em­po­ria and the sur­round­ing area dat­ing back to at least 2013. Dur­ing the con­spir­acy, these de­fen­dants along with sev­eral other co­con­spir­a­tors, dis­trib­uted large amounts of crack co­caine, pow­der co­caine, heroin and mar­i­juana to hun­dreds of cus­tomers in South­east Vir­ginia. Owens was sen­tenced yes­ter­day to 10 years in prison, Banks to 11 years and 8 months, and Hicks was sen­tenced today to 15 years in prison.

The case was in­ves­ti­gated by the DEA as part of the Or­ga­nized Crime Drug En­force­ment Task Forces (OCDETF), Op­er­a­tion Bulls Eye. The OCDETF pro­gram is a fed­eral multi-agency, multi-ju­ris­dic­tional task force that sup­plies sup­ple­men­tal fed­eral fund­ing to fed­eral and state agen­cies in­volved in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and pros­e­cu­tion of ma­jor drug traf­fick­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions. The prin­ci­pal mis­sion of the OCDETF pro­gram is to iden­tify, dis­rupt and dis­man­tle the most se­ri­ous drug traf­fick­ing, weapons traf­fick­ing and money laun­der­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions, and those pri­mar­ily re­spon­si­ble for the nation’s il­le­gal drug sup­ply.

Tracy Do­her­tyMcCormick, Act­ing U.S. At­tor­ney for the East­ern Dis­trict of Vir­ginia, and Adam S. Lee, Spe­cial Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Rich­mond Field Of­fice, made the an­nounce­ment af­ter sen­tenc­ing by Se­nior U.S. Dis­trict Judge Robert E. Payne. As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Peter S. Duf­fey pros­e­cuted the case.

The fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion was pro­vided by the Prince Ge­orge Po­lice Depart­ment:

• An In­di­vid­ual, 18, of Prince Ge­orge, was charged with pub­lic swear­ing/in­tox­i­ca­tion and as­sault.

• An In­di­vid­ual, 28, of Prince Ge­orge, was charged with as­sault.

• An In­di­vid­ual, 38, was charged with driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence.

• An In­di­vid­ual, 28, of Peters­burg, was charged with driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence and drug/nar­cotic vi­o­la­tion.

• An In­di­vid­ual, 21, of Peters­burg, was charged with larceny.

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