|ROANOKE, Va. – Law enforcement officials and the United States Attorney’s Office announced today the recent arrests of thirteen individuals on a variety of federal charges, including distribution of heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine, possession of explosives by a felon, and illegal storage of explosives.
“These charges are the result of a federal, state, and local law enforcement partnership working together to stem the tide of crime in the Roanoke Valley. We all know the harm that narcotics trafficking causes to a community, which too often includes cycles of escalating violence.” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “This effort is just one of the ways the United States Attorney’s Office is seeking to hold accountable those individuals who undermine the safety of our community, and we are committed to working with our law enforcement partners and community members to provide assistance to those who want to see it thrive.”
“Today the Roanoke community witnessed a significant, coordinated law enforcement effort undertaken by the FBI and our partners with the Roanoke City and Roanoke County Police Departments, and the Virginia State Police,” Stanley Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division said today. “Care and caution for these communities, have been pivotal in our planning to address the increase in crime occurring in the Roanoke area; and with today’s effort and concerted efforts in the last few months we have been able to remove a number of offenders from your streets. This is not over. The FBI remains committed to working with our partners and community members to address crime threats in these communities and hold criminals accountable. We ask that you please continue to assist law enforcement by reporting criminal activity.”
“We are grateful that our department can partner with these agencies at every level of the criminal justice system to hold these individuals accountable,” said Chief Sam Roman. “These are individuals who wish to cause harm through organized crime in our community, and this shows them and others like them that we will not stand for their behavior in Roanoke. We will do all we can with all the resources we have available to hold them responsible for their destructive, violent actions.”
“With overdose deaths increasing at an alarming rate across the Commonwealth, this investigative operation is extremely timely and essential to our state, local, and federal public safety initiatives to safeguard communities from the violence and tragedy so often associated with drug abuse and distribution,” said Captain Jeffrey A. Bartlett, Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office. “This is just the beginning of our collaborative efforts to remove high-level drug network operators who make it their business to prey on the Roanoke and Salem communities.”
“The suspects arrested and indicted today are responsible for bringing dangerous drugs into the Roanoke Valley that poison our citizens,” Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall said today. “Removing them from our community makes us all safer.”
“Today’s announcement is our collective way of saying we have had enough. Narcotics distribution in our communities is dangerous and detrimental to the safety of everyone,” said Charlie J. Patterson, ATF Washington Field Division Special Agent in Charge. “Protecting the public is our top priority. ATF remains focused on collaborating and lending resources to our local, state and federal partners in our continuing effort to combat violent crime.”
Arrested over the last two weeks were:
In addition to these ten defendants, the following three have been arrested in recent weeks on similar federal charges as part of the same effort:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the City of Roanoke Police Department, the Roanoke County Police Department, the Salem Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Virginia State Police are investigating the case.
An indictment or criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.