DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Jessica D. Aber
, United States Attorney

25th Operation High Tide Defendant Sentenced for Drug and Gun Crimes

NORFOLK, Va. – A Portsmouth man, who was the 25th defendant associated with Operation High Tide, was sentenced today to five years in prison for his role in trafficking firearms and selling heroin.

According to court documents, in 2017, Shon E. Melton, 32, of Portsmouth, was attributed with trafficking 19 firearms, including a concealable short barrel shotgun, assault rifles, and stolen guns, one of which was a Ruger with a scope and laser modification. Firearms trafficked by Melton include stolen guns connected to burglaries in the London Oaks neighborhood of Portsmouth, sold within days or weeks of the home invasions.

Operation High Tide is a large-scale narcotics trafficking and firearms investigation that has resulted in the recovery of over 65 firearms, over 7 kilograms of cocaine, nearly a kilogram of crack cocaine, over 625 grams of heroin, over 100 grams of fentanyl, 75 grams of acetyl fentanyl, 12 pounds of marijuana, 621 grams of hash oil, 24 grams of MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy), 120 grams of methamphetamine, and over $560,000 in cash. The narcotics seized have a street value of nearly $1 million.

To date, Operation High Tide defendants have been sentenced to a combined total of over 250 years:

Name, Age

Hometown

Charges

Sentence

Brian D. Best, 34

Virginia Beach

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

92 months

Antisha Carrington, 25

Virginia Beach

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Heroin, Fentanyl, and Marijuana

33 months

Portia L. Carrington-Green, 46, Chesapeake

Transferring a Firearm to a Prohibited Person

12 months and one day

Kawanta D. Epps, 40

Norfolk

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Heroin, Fentanyl, and Marijuana; Distribution of Heroin

46 months

Glenn Farris, 36

Norfolk

Using a Communication Facility to Commit, Cause, and Facilitate the Distribution of Controlled Substances

30 months

Armad J. Gatling, 26, Portsmouth

 

Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Credit Union Fraud

216 months

Corey L. Jones, 50

Portsmouth

Conspiracy to Manufacture, Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Manufacture and Distribute Heroin; Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime

240 months

Dominic D. Jones, 26

Portsmouth

Conspiracy to Manufacture, Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Manufacture and Distribute Heroin; Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime

60 months

Malcolm D. Jones, Sr., 45

Portsmouth

Conspiracy to Manufacture, Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Manufacture and Distribute Heroin; Distribution of Heroin, Fentanyl; Distribution of Acetyl Fentanyl

246 months

Malcom Jones, Jr., 25

Portsmouth

Conspiracy to Manufacture, Distribute, and Possess with Intent to Manufacture and Distribute Heroin

156 months

Razagin K. Lee, 49, Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

140 months

Shon E. Melton, 30

Portsmouth

Distribution of Heroin; Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime; Possession of an Unregistered National Firearms Act Firearm

60 months

Hasheed Mills, 25

Portsmouth

Distribution of Heroin; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime; Distribution of Cocaine

60 months

Gary Norfleet, 52

Chesapeake

Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine; Felon in Possession of a Firearm

151 months

Jermaine C. Parker, 35

Chesapeake

Distribution of Fentanyl; 2 counts of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime

240 months

Takieon J. Perkins, 36, Chesapeake

Felon in Possession of a Firearm

180 months

Raewkon A. Pierce, 24

Portsmouth

Distribution of Cocaine

140 months

Corey S. Reed, 38

Norfolk

Distribution of Heroin; Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin

156 months

Tajh Rodgers, 29

Portsmouth

Robbery Affecting Commerce; Using, Carrying, and Brandishing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence; and 3 counts of Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime

336 months

Johnnie Ross, 29

Portsmouth

Distribution of Fentanyl

60 months

Jameel M. Simmons, 37

Portsmouth

Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime

123 months

Jelami M. Smith, 43

Portsmouth

Distribution of Heroin

24 months

Robert B. Spruill, 39

Chesapeake

Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess Methamphetamine

60 months

Paul C. Voskanyan, 36

Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine

144 months

 

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division; Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police; Larry D. Boone, Chief of Norfolk Police; Col. K.L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police; and Renado Prince, Chief of Portsmouth Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristin G. Bird, Andrew C. Bosse, John F. Butler, Megan M. Cowles, Sherrie Capotosto, Kevin M. Comstock, Joseph E. DePadilla, William B. Jackson, Darryl Mitchell, and William D. Muhr prosecuted the cases referenced above.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information on the Melton case are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:19-cr-145. Other Operation High Tide cases can be found by searching for Case Nos. 2:19-cr-80, 111, 138, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 154, 155, 170, 193, and 2:20-cr-15.

Washington Field Division