Norfolk man pleads guilty to trafficking heroin while armed

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk man who was caught after transporting heroin via bus from New York to Norfolk has pleaded guilty to trafficking the opioid while armed.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Virginia said Thursday, citing court records, that 39-year-old Vernon Lewis Petway, a convicted felon, had 97 grams of heroin and a firearm in his possession when he was caught.

Petway’s arrest was part of an eight month, joint investigation called Operation Sand Dragon that included the involvement of several agencies, including Chesapeake and Norfolk police.

Forty-four suspects, including Petway, were arrested for drug distribution. The investigation also led to the seizure of 11 ounces of heroin, three pounds of cocaine, three pounds of marijuana, 24 ecstasy pills, and nine grams of methamphetamine.

Prosecutors said Petway pleaded guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug-trafficking crime. 

Petway could face anywhere between five years and life in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 15.

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