NORFOLK, VA—There is reason that the open-air drug markets that used to have cops hiding in nearby woods with night-vision binoculars or rolling up in old vans to buy drugs don’t exist any longer. The reason is that drug dealers have moved inside to hotels where they text and tweet to their customers and conduct business inside or rent the homes of users with free dope. This development is going to leave a lot of narco cops working as phony room service waiters.
Antwan Black, a/k/a “Twizzy,” 31, of Portsmouth, Virginia, was sentenced Oct. 21, 2014 to 30 years in prison, followed by eight years of supervised release for the distribution of heroin and crack cocaine. He was further sentenced to an additional consecutive five years in prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior United States District Judge Robert G. Doumar.
According to court documents, Black was the leader of a drug trafficking organization out of Portsmouth, Virginia. Between 2009 and July, 2013, Black sold heroin, cocaine-base and cocaine in the Portsmouth area.
In 2012 and 2013, Black began using other individuals to man hotel rooms in the downtown Portsmouth area to sell drugs. Black furnished the room with ounces of heroin and crack cocaine daily. He paid for the hotel rooms, cell phones and other costs for his dealers.
At the end of the day, Black retrieved the money from sales and would re-supply the room. Black carried a firearm with him during most of his drug deliveries. He and his co-conspirators also used homes of drug users to sell their narcotics.
Drug users were given free drugs for access to their homes. As part of the investigation, authorities recovered two loaded firearms—a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and a MK99 assault rifle—from residences used by Black. Both firearms were loaded.
Black was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 10, 2014 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and 28 grams or more of crack cocaine on March 17, 2014. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Portsmouth Police Department. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Cross prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.