NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk police have taken two people into custody for alleged narcotics distribution, and thanks to a new law intended to combat fentanyl-related overdoses, they now each face a terrorism-related charge.
According to police, Krystle Cahill, 33, and Eric McGinnis, 43, were charged with committing, conspiring and aiding acts of terrorism, possession with the intent to distribute narcotics, possession of a firearm with the intent to distribute narcotics, unlawful possession of a machine gun and conspiracy to commit drug offenses.
In late July, police raided the couple’s business, EJM Enterprises on East Little Creek Road, and their nearby home. They recovered fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, psylocibin (mushrooms), Xanax and Adderall, as well as guns.
According to court documents, neither of the pair was present for the raids.
Norfolk Police posted the couple’s mugshots on social media Aug. 16 and announced they were being sought for arrest.
Cahill was apparently apprehended prior to this week, according to a person close to the case. Police made the announcement after taking McGinnis into custody. Cahill already has a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 26.
The terrorism charge seems to come out of the new law passed by the General Assembly in March. Sponsored by State Sen. Bryce E. Reeves (R), it reads:
Any person who knowingly and intentionally manufactures or knowingly and intentionally distributes a weapon of terrorism when such person knows that such weapon of terrorism is, or contains, any mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl
That law, however, appears to be different than the one they were charged with violating.
In an image re-posted by Norfolk Police on social media Monday, the offense is listed as “commit, conspire, and aiding acts of terrorism,” which fits the title of the law in State Code 18.2-46.5. That law has nothing to do with drugs and refers to a regular definition of terrorism as:
[A]n act that would be an act of violence if committed within the Commonwealth committed within or outside the Commonwealth with the intent to (i) intimidate a civilian population at large or (ii) influence the conduct or activities of a government, including the government of the United States, a state, or a locality, through intimidation.
The next section of the State Code, 18.2-46.6.(D), is the one that references fentanyl.
Both McGinnis and Cahill, who share a child, have faced serious drug charges in the past.
In 2017, McGinnis took a plea deal after being charged with possession, possession of a firearm while in possession of schedule I or II drugs and carrying a concealed weapon.
That resulted in a five-year prison sentence, with all but two weeks suspended. The five-year uniform good behavior requirement of that deal expired last year.
In 2022, he signed off on a court document related to a protective order taken out against him by a family member declaring that he did not own any firearms.
Cahill faced serious drug charges in 2021, though they were dismissed.