NORFOLK, Va. – Two Portsmouth men were was sentenced to a combined 21 years in prison for their respective roles in a family-run heroin-trafficking organization in which members trafficked at least one kilogram of heroin throughout Hampton Roads and sold handguns, rifles, and shotguns with their drugs.
According to court documents, Dominic Donta Jones, 27, and Raewkon Akil Pierce, 24, were members of the Jones DTO run by Malcolm Jones, Sr., Jones and Pierce’s father. The organization operated at least three drug premises, including the “Court,” a residence serving as the distribution point for Jones Sr.’s drugs—heroin, fentanyl, Acetyl fentanyl, crack, and powder cocaine. Since the beginning of 2017, the Court serviced 50 to 100 customers a day until authorities shut down the operation on Sept. 11, 2019. During that time, Jones and Pierce stayed at the Court, managed drug-trafficking efforts there, and stockpiled firearms there to protect their drug trade. Jones also sold a handgun during one of his heroin transactions, and that heroin turned out to be a mixture of fentanyl and Acetyl fentanyl.
This case is part of Operation High Tide, a proactive, large-scale narcotics trafficking and firearms investigation that focused on high-impact targets driving crime in some of the hardest hit neighborhoods in Hampton Roads.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; and Col. K.L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Bird prosecuted the case.
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 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-155.