Cocaine investigation takes place in Suffolk

Published 9:51 pm Friday, October 28, 2016

Two men have been arrested after a federal investigation into distribution of cocaine that took place largely in Suffolk.

William Marquie Bland and Jose Luis Sagrero Matias are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, according to court documents.

According to court documents, the Drug Enforcement Administration worked with a confidential source beginning in mid-August to expose the operation. The confidential source told agents that he or she knew of a cocaine trafficker and had a cell phone number for him.

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Later in the month, the source and agents worked together to place a recorded call to the suspected trafficker, later identified as Matias. Matias and the source agreed to meet in the parking lot of a business in Suffolk, according to the court documents.

The document does not give the name of the business.

Matias and the source met in the parking lot and sat in a vehicle. An audio recording of their conversation revealed that Matias told the source he was capable of supplying 20 to 30 kilograms of cocaine at a time, at a cost of $36,000 per kilogram, according to the court documents. He said he preferred to do 13 kilograms or more per transaction.

The source agreed to purchase six kilograms at first.

Later that month, Matias and the source talked on the phone, and Matias told the source he had six kilograms available, according to the court documents.

On Sept. 7, the investigative team formulated plans to meet with Matias and unexpectedly show him $200,000 in cash. An undercover agent went with the source to meet Matias and quickly displayed the currency.

“That’s what I am talking about,” Matias said, smiling, according to the court documents.

That meeting also took place in the parking lot of an unnamed business in Suffolk.

On Sept. 12, another meeting took place at an unspecified Suffolk business’s parking lot, but there was a disagreement about where the cocaine would be handed over. Bland, who came into the picture for the first time during this meeting, and Matias refused to deliver the cocaine to Suffolk, as the undercover agent and the source were asking, so the attempt to acquire cocaine on that day failed, according to the court documents.

On Oct. 12, another meeting at a business parking lot in Suffolk took place, and the four agreed to meet at a hotel in Edenton, N.C. Matias told the agent and the source that after one or two transactions, Matias would provide delivery service.

“Matias relayed to them that Bland was his right hand man,” according to the court documents.

On Oct. 19, the meeting finally happened at America’s Best Value Inn on Virginia Road in Edenton, N.C. Bland exited a room at the hotel and allegedly showed the undercover agent two kilograms of cocaine. The arrest signal was given, and members of the enforcement operation converged on the hotel.

Bland allegedly attempted to run but was arrested after a brief foot chase, according to the court document. He allegedly dropped a bag containing two kilograms of cocaine and a loaded pistol. In his rooms, four more kilograms of cocaine and two more loaded pistols were recovered.

Upon questioning, Bland allegedly admitted his involvement and said he had sold cocaine to at least one other person from the same shipment.

Matias was arrested the same day at his workplace in Suffolk, according to the documents. He allegedly admitted his involvement and described himself as a middle man.

Keith Kimball, of the federal public defendant’s office, who is representing Matias, said he had no comment on the case. An attorney for Bland did not return an email late Friday afternoon.