5 sentenced in Hampton Roads narcotics operation

Newport News

Jill Hockaday, 54, from New Jersey (Courtesy photo)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Five people involved in a drug conspiracy rooted in Hampton Roads have been sentenced to a combined 51 years in prison.

Their sentencing hearings spanned Thursday and Friday in federal court in Newport News, according to a Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Damarcus Mackie, 44, from Mississippi, acquired heroin and fentanyl in kilogram quantities, but would sell it, often through runners, in quantities as low as grams. Mackie also pressed heroin and fentanyl into pills to resemble pharmaceutical opioids like Oxycodone, and he distributed large quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine as well. Five co-conspirators maintained stash houses for Mackie at various times. In addition to those maintaining drug houses for him, Mackie directed at least four other co-conspirators in their drug acquiring and distribution activities. As part of his sentencing, Mackie was ordered to forfeit a money judgment of $1,314,120. Mackie also forfeited a Mercedes sedan as part of this case.

Marcid V. Byrd, 36, of Hampton, acquired cocaine in multi-kilogram quantities and sold cocaine by the ounce, the half-kilogram, and even by the kilogram. Byrd used a residence in Hampton to distribute cocaine to his co-conspirators, at least six of whom he supervised. On one occasion, Byrd demanded that one of his co-conspirators pay his drug debt to Byrd with a Draco firearm. When Byrd’s cocaine source dried up, Byrd tried to pool his money with Damarcus Mackie to obtain cocaine from Mackie’s source. As part of his sentencing, Byrd was ordered to forfeit a monetary judgment of $845,875, real property located in Hampton, as well as a 2016 BMW I8, valued at over $100,000.

Symphoni Wiggins, 39, of Hampton, allowed Damarcus Mackie to use her home as a stash house to store heroin and fentanyl. At Mackie’s direction, Wiggins would mix and prepare heroin and fentanyl with cutting agents and package it for distribution. At times, Wiggins would prepare over fifty grams of heroin/fentanyl a day for distribution through Mackie and his drug runners. Wiggins referred to herself as “the master mixer.”

Clarence Ford, 28, of Hampton, assisted Marcid Byrd with the distribution of cocaine and the collection and remission of drug proceeds. In addition to collecting cocaine proceeds from Byrd’s co-conspirators, Ford would also assist Byrd with his drug trafficking activities by checking for police surveillance.

Jill Hockaday, 54, from New Jersey, bought heroin in gram quantities for both personal use and redistribution. Damarcus Mackie served as the immediate source, and then later as an indirect source, for Hockaday’s heroin.

These sentences are part of a larger case that is focused on cracking down on the illegal distribution of narcotics throughout Virginia. Over 120 law enforcement officers from 30 law enforcement agencies in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, and Texas have worked to execute this major operation. To date, 46 defendants have been charged in this case. Of those, 40 have admitted their criminal conduct and pleaded guilty. Six defendants are currently scheduled for trial.

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