NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - A Newport News man was sentenced Tuesday for being part of a gang-related drug conspiracy and murder.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith sentenced 36-year-old Kenneth Matthews to 264 months in prison, according to Deanna Warren with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Matthews pleaded guilty on July 15 to a conspiring to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and being an accessory after the fact to the murder of Christian Hatch.
Warren said court documents reveal Matthews was involved with a Newport News gang called "Thug Relations" in a conspiracy to make money by distributing cocaine and cocaine base. Matthews was the secondary supplier for many of the gang's members.
On Nov. 4, 2009, Matthews provided a gun to one of the gang members, who was involved in a feud with rival gang "Black P-Stones." Warren said part of the dispute involved the location of drug trafficking activities. The member who took the gun shot into an occupied dwelling, causing Hatch's death and injuries to other rival gang members.
After the incident, the gun was returned to Matthews, who took it out of state for the purpose of covering up the shooter's involvement in the murder, according to Warren.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.