‘Operation High Tide’ nets large numbers of drugs, guns in Hampton Roads; 20 people convicted

Taking Back the Community

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A large-scale law enforcement operation focusing on “some of the hardest hit neighborhoods in Hampton Roads” has led to 20 convictions on drug and gun-related charges since it was initiated in early September.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) made the announcement on Tuesday alongside other federal authorities and law enforcement chiefs from Norfolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake.

In addition to the convictions, authorities say “Operation High Tide,” seized 78 firearms and nearly $1 million in narcotics, including seven kilograms of cocaine, 1 kilogram of crack cocaine, 625 grams of heroin, 100 grams of fentanyl, 75 grams of acetyl fentanyl, 12 pounds of marijuana, 120 grams of methamphetamine, as well as other drugs.

More than $560,000 was also seized.

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“Armed criminals are the principal players involved in the deadly cycles of turf battles and gang conflicts that deprive our neighborhoods and families of the peace and security they deserve,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in a release. “Operation High Tide is the latest highly-coordinated effort from federal, state, and local law enforcement to tackle violent crime in Hampton Roads. Through this operation, we are making our strong partnership known and felt in Hampton Roads, as we apprehend and remove from the streets those individuals who have committed serious offenses and put the safety of our communities in danger.”

Sherri Annan, supervisory deputy U.S. Marshal, says the goal is to create a safer community. 

“This operation was about  being proactive and preventing violence, because that is where we are going to succeed, is to prevent it,” said Annan. “The focus is prevention of violence because we don’t want our citizens to become a victim of a violent crime.”

Together, local, state and federal agencies have worked about six to nine months around-the-clock.

“It’s important for us as local law enforcement to [work] with our state partners as well as our fellow partners … because we just don’t have the resources to do it ourselves,” said Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone. “As we know, criminals don’t recognize city boundaries. This effort does not only benefit Norfolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake, but it benefits the Hampton Roads region as a whole.”

Operation High Tide is far from over, according to ATF Special Agent in Charge Ashan Benedict. 

“Most of these guns came from people who were prohibited. They got the guns from people who got them legally. We are going to investigate fully and bring them to justice as well,” said Benedict. 

Benedict says there’s phase one and two to get more criminals, guns and drugs off the streets in Hampton Roads.

Here’s the list of those apprehended, and the charges to which they pleaded guilty:

Name, Age, Hometown Charges Sentencing
Brian D. Best, 34
Virginia Beach
Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine Feb. 27, 2020
Antisha Carrington, 25
Virginia Beach
Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Heroin, Fentanyl, and Marijuana Feb. 21, 2020
Kawanta D. Epps, 40
Norfolk
Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Heroin, Fentanyl, and Marijuana; Distribution of Heroin Feb. 19, 2020
Anthony L. Green, 48
Chesapeake
Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Heroin, Fentanyl, and Marijuana; Distribution of Heroin March 12, 2020
Corey L. Jones, 50
Portsmouth
Conspiracy to Manufacture, Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Manufacture and Distribute Heroin; Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime Feb. 19, 2020
Dominic D. Jones, 26
Portsmouth
Conspiracy to Manufacture, Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Manufacture and Distribute Heroin; Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime Feb. 11, 2020
Malcolm D. Jones, Sr., 45
Portsmouth
Conspiracy to Manufacture, Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Manufacture and Distribute Heroin; Distribution of Heroin, Fentanyl; Distribution of Acetyl Fentanyl Feb. 5, 2020
Shon E. Melton, 30
Portsmouth
Distribution of Heroin; Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime; Possession of an Unregistered National Firearms Act Firearm March 26, 2020
Gary Norfleet, 52
Chesapeake
Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine; Felon in Possession of a Firearm Feb. 11, 2020
Jermaine C. Parker, 35
Chesapeake
Distribution of Fentanyl; 2 counts of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime Feb. 3, 2020
Corey S. Reed, 38
Norfolk
Distribution of Heroin; Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin Jan. 9, 2020
Jameel M. Simmons, 37
Portsmouth
Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime Jan. 23, 2020
Jelami M. Smith, 43
Portsmouth
Distribution of Heroin Feb. 2, 2020
Robert B. Spruill, 39
Chesapeake
Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess Methamphetamine Feb. 27, 2020
Hasheed Mills, 25
Portsmouth
Distribution of Heroin; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime; Distribution of Cocaine Feb. 28, 2020
Tajh Rodgers, 29
Portsmouth
Robbery Affecting Commerce; Using, Carrying, and Brandishing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence; and 3 counts of Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime Jan. 9, 2020
Glenn Farris, 36
Norfolk
Using a Communication Facility to Commit, Cause, and Facilitate the Distribution of Controlled Substance Feb. 12, 2020
Malcom Jones, Jr., 25
Portsmouth
Conspiracy to Manufacture, Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Manufacture and Distribute Heroin Feb. 18, 2020
Raewkon A. Pierce, 24
Portsmouth
Distribution of Cocaine March 16, 2020
Johnnie Ross, 29
Portsmouth
Distribution of Fentanyl March 31, 2020

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