NORFOLK, Va. – An Iowa woman was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for her role as the out-of-state heroin and fentanyl supplier for convicted Hampton Roads trafficker Michelle Best.
“Selling fentanyl from a daycare where young children are present is not just extremely reckless and illegal, it is dangerous,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This case and this sentence should be a wake-up call to anyone trafficking dangerous drugs into Virginia: Our investigative partners follow the narcotics and the money wherever they lead, and our prosecutions reflect that. This district will bring the full force of the law against traffickers who endanger the lives of Virginians, wherever they are.”
According to court documents, in September 2017, Latosha L. Prather, 37, of Des Moines, sold two kilograms of heroin and fentanyl for $125,000 to Best from Prather’s home-based day care service in Des Moines. Agents and analysts traced approximately $100,000 in cash deposits from Best to Prather. In January 2018, Prather travelled from Des Moines to Virginia Beach, where she met with Best in a Wal-Mart parking lot to distribute another kilogram of heroin and fentanyl for $49,000. In March 2018, a Virginia SWAT team working with the DEA executed a search warrant at Best’s Croatan house and recovered nearly $42,000 in cash, approximately 352 grams of heroin laced with fentanyl, significant quantities of other narcotics, a commercial money counter, and a number of firearms.
Best was sentenced in March 2019 to 30 years in prison.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; and Paul Neudigate, Chief of the Virginia Beach Police Department, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys John F. Butler and Andrew C. Bosse 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-138. The case of United States v. Michelle Best, et al. can be found by searching for Case No. 2:18-cr-147.