Suffolk Police conduct sweep, arrest 12 in firearm, narcotics offenses
Published 5:47 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Suffolk Police announced the arrest of 12 men charged with narcotics and firearm offenses during a special news conference Wednesday.
Suffolk Chief of Police Al Chandler, alongside Commonwealth’s Attorney Narendra Pleas, Washington Field Division Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daryll Longwood, and Mayor Michael D. Duman expressed their gratitude to the officers participating in the sweep operation to keep the city safe.
“We are continuing to investigate, identify and bring to justice those in our cities who choose to buy and sell stolen and illegal firearms as well as illegal narcotics,” Chandler said. “I want this to serve as notice that we are focused and committed to ridding our neighborhoods of those who choose to commit crimes that fuel violence in our city streets.”
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Longwood also addressed partnering with SPD to bring the offenders to justice.
“ATF is pleased to have partnered with the Suffolk Police Department to investigate and disrupt those who chose to plague the communities of Suffolk with firearms and narcotic related crimes,” Longwood said. “Through the use of crime gun intelligence and traditional investigative techniques, the individuals responsible for all these crimes have been investigated, arrested and will be prosecuted.”
Commonwealth Attorney Narendra Pleas discussed how her office has worked with SPD and ATF “in tandem” over the several months to make sure that everything was executed properly.
“We presented 350 indictments to the June Grand Jury and that involved 164 defendants. Of those indictments and defendants, 180 were indictments related to today’s round of arrests, with respect to, also 23 individuals, which is the largest in history that we can find for the history of Suffolk going back to 2004,” Pleas said during the conference.
Mayor Michael D. Duman followed up commending the department for their work in the operation.
“This is a true example of what can be accomplished with interagency cooperation as we continue to address crime in our city, and in our region,” Duman said during the conference. “Rest assured, public safety is top of mind and we will continue to introduce initiatives to maintain Suffolk as one of the safest cities in Hampton Roads.”
During the question and answer portion of the news conference, Chandler affirmed that they are conducting various drug testings to confirm their status. Aside from “marijuana,” he said that they want to be “very careful” before releasing further information on the types of drugs.
When asked if they could speak on where the narcotics were coming from and how the criminals obtained them, Chandler noted how narcotics can be found in “a lot of different places.”
“You not only have the regular street-level narcotics such as marijana, cocaine, fentanyl, you also have prescription medications, and these were things that we’re also looking at,” Chandler said. “We’re not narrowing our scope to say it’s only this one type of narcotic.’We’re looking for anything that is used to abuse where people are hurt.”
The 12 men arrested during the roundup conducted Wednesday serving 109 direct indictments include the following on felony counts, unless otherwise noted:
Latrawn Monique Armstrong Jr. — two counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs, possession of a gun with intent to sell schedule I/II drugs and conspiracy/distribute schedule I/II drugs
Kurtis Barnes — distributing schedule I/II drugs
James Lee Bremby Jr. — five counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs and sale of drugs on or near a school
Kenneth T. Cobb — eight counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs second offense
Deon Lavelle Garvin — 11 counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs second offense, possession of a gun with intent to sell schedule I/II drugs, two counts of violent felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of conspiracy/distribute schedule I/II drugs
Phillip Andrew Harden — nine counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs and conspiracy/distribute schedule I/II drugs
Quashawn Damon House — four counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs, possession of a gun with intent to sell schedule I/II drugs and violent felon in possession of a firearm
Kenyatta Lateef Kearney Jr. — six counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs
Tommy Macarthur Thomas — seven counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs
Ernest Semaj Thorpe — seven counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs third-plus offense, possession of a gun with intent to sell schedule I/II drugs, violent felon in possession of a firearm within 10 years and misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon
Corinthian Fre’joseph Wiggins — possession with intent to distribute marijuana greater than one ounce, four counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana greater than one ounce up to five pounds and four counts of conspiring to distribute marijuana greater than one ounce up to five pounds
John Demetrius Wood — 19 counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs third-plus offense, three counts of conspiring to distribute drugs, two counts of a non-violent felon possessing a firearm within 10 years, possession of a gun with intent to sell schedule I/II drugs and distribution of imitation schedule I/II drugs
Additionally, one person is being sought by police on 15 felony counts. Police are looking for Darius Antonio Jones on nine counts of distributing schedule I/II drugs, three counts of violent felon possessing a firearm and three counts of possession of a gun with intent to sell schedule I/II drugs.