Eleven Indicted in Heroin Investigation

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Eleven Indicted in Heroin Investigation

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2017

Eleven people have been directly indicted and arrested on charges related to two different conspiracies to distribute heroin in the City of Alexandria, Virginia. The case was jointly investigated by the Alexandria Police Department, the Virginia State Police, the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney.

Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Porter said: "I want to thank the Alexandria Police Department, the Virginia State Police and the Office of the Attorney General for their diligent and professional work on these investigations. Heroin constitutes a clear and present danger to the citizens of Alexandria, and violence follows the heroin trade as the number of firearms seized in these cases illustrates. The collaborative effort between APD, VSP, OAG and my office to bring down two complex drug conspiracies constitutes a new paradigm for the investigation of complex heroin trafficking organizations in Virginia."  

The charges will be tried before the Circuit Court for the City of Alexandria. Nine defendants have been charged with two counts: 1) Conspiracy to Participate in a Racketeering Organization (RICO)-Felony and 2) Conspiracy to Distribute More than 1.0 kilogram of Heroin-Felony. The RICO count carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in the penitentiary and a fine of not more than $1 million. The Conspiracy to Distribute count carries a maximum penalty of life in the penitentiary and a fine of not more than $1 million.

One defendant has been indicted on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute More than 100 grams of Heroin-Felony.  This charge carries a maximum penalty of life in the penitentiary and a fine of not more than $1 million.

One defendant has been indicted on three counts of Distribution of Heroin-Felony. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in the penitentiary and a fine of not more than $500,000.

No trial dates have been set in the matter. However, absent a waiver of a defendant's speedy trial rights, the Commonwealth has approximately 5 months to begin all trials associated with the case. Therefore, all matters should be disposed of no later than late July 2017.    

The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney notes that all charged persons are presumed to be innocent and the Commonwealth bears the burden of proving all charged offenses beyond a reasonable doubt by presenting admissible evidence in a court of law.

Rule 3.6 of the Virginia State Bar's Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys states, in pertinent part: "A lawyer participating in or associated with the… prosecution … of a criminal matter that may be tried to a jury shall not make or participate in making an extrajudicial statement… that the lawyer knows, or should know, will have a substantial likelihood of interfering with the fairness of a trial by jury." Therefore, the Commonwealth is prohibited from discussing the evidence, its trial strategy or its work product prior to disposition of these matters. 

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