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Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, March 7, 2019
G. Zachary Terwilliger
, United States Attorney
Contact: Joshua Stueve

Law Enforcement Executes Federal Gun and Drug Sting in Petersburg

RICHMOND, Va. – Over 150 law enforcement agents and officers executed a coordinated takedown this morning in Petersburg, arresting seven individuals on various drug and firearms charges including heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine distribution and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. An eighth individual was arrested in Texas and a ninth individual was already in custody on state charges.

“This operation represents our commitment to public safety in Petersburg,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Illegal firearms and drugs are often driving forces behind the violent crime that we are addressing in communities across the Eastern District. The actions taken today reflect the coordinated, skilled and brave work of law enforcement, and I want to thank the ATF and the Petersburg Bureau of Police for their partnership and commitment to reducing violent crime in Petersburg. These are serious allegations and each defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.”

“What we see today is the fruit of the strong partnership between ATF and the Petersburg Bureau of Police,” said Ashan Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division. “Going forward, ATF will continue to stand alongside the City of Petersburg and stay committed to targeting those who commit violent crimes and illegally possess firearms.”

“Today is a great day for our city,” said Kenneth Miller, Chief of Petersburg Bureau of Police. “The Petersburg Bureau of Police is committed to keeping our streets safe and making the City of Petersburg a better place to live. I’m extremely appreciative of our strong relationship with the ATF and our federal partners, and I look forward to continuing to work together to target those who choose to break the law. Today’s enforcement activity is a great example of our strategic approach going forward.”

Below is a table which lists the name, age, hometown, and respective charge(s) each defendant faces.

Name, Age

Hometown

Charge(s)

Armon Lee, 26

Warfield

Sale or Disposal of a Firearm to a Convicted Felon; Distribution of Cocaine

Terrell Dean Johnson, 30

Petersburg

Distribution of Cocaine

Titus Maurice Lee, 44

Petersburg

Distribution of Cocaine; Distribution of Heroin and/or Fentanyl; Possession of a Firearm/Ammunition by a Convicted Felon; Sale or Disposal of a Firearm to a Convicted Felon

Autrelle Malik Waddell, 22

Petersburg

Distribution of Heroin and/or Fentanyl; Sale or Disposal of a Firearm to a Convicted Felon

Miles Owanga Johnson, 39

Petersburg

Distribution of Heroin and/or Fentanyl

Charles Lee Avery, 44

Petersburg

Possession of a Firearm/Ammunition by a Convicted Felon

Tyrell Jakahree Allen, 26

Prince George

Distribution of Cocaine

Vincent Edward Stewart, 29

Petersburg

Sale or Disposal of a Firearm to a Convicted Felon

Calvin Alphonso Turner, 32

Petersburg

Distribution of Cocaine

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.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, and Kenneth A. Miller, Chief of Petersburg Police, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angela Mastandrea-Miller and Peter S. Duffey are prosecuting the cases.

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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

 

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Washington Field Division