NC man sentenced to 15 years for role in drug trafficking from Mexico to Hampton

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A man involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy that was rooted in Mexico and settled in Hampton has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Donald Lee Southerland, 49, of North Carolina, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court for his role in the large-scale conspiracy.

Southerland pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, cocaine base and fentanyl.

According to a Department of Justice news release, over the course of approximately three to four years, Southerland was behind hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars in drug proceeds.

He was also credited by authorities as being involved with more than 63 kilograms of heroin and more than 43 kilograms of marijuana, among other significant quantities of illicit substances.

Southerland’s biggest heroin customer lived in Hampton, authorities said.

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