Father, son arrested after state police, ATF searches in Portsmouth

Kenneth Matthews
Kenneth Matthews

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side has confirmed two arrests tied to a police investigation at two homes in Portsmouth Thursday morning.

ATF agents and Virginia State Police could be seen searching inside a home on Normandy Street and inside two vehicles parked out front. Neighbors reported hearing three loud bangs around 6 a.m. and then saw about 40 agents, including state police, ATF, DEA and SWAT, go into the home and yell “search warrant!” at least three times.

Another home located at 154 Yorkshire Road was also searched by agents Thursday.

Portsmouth police arrested 42-year-old Kenneth Matthews for possession with intent to distribute drugs and possession of a firearm with drugs.

Matthews’ son, 26-year-old Kenneth R. Meeks, lives in the Normandy Street home. He appeared in federal court Thursday and was released on his own recognizance. He left court, jumped in a car and hid his face as the vehicle sped away. He is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond requirement states he is to have no contact with his father.

Document: criminal complaint & affidavit

In a criminal complaint, there are pictures showing Meeks shooting guns. The ATF agents raided Meeks home after their informants gave several reports of Meeks handling, shooting, and possessing guns.

The complaint says, in March, Meeks and his father (noted in court papers as “KM”) were in possession of 20 to 30 firearms, ammunition, silencers and homemade machine guns.

In May, agents observed Meeks at his father’s home, and saw Meeks come out of that home with guns putting them into his pickup truck. The agents then followed Meeks to land in Suffolk where they observed him holding and firing guns with some that appeared to have silencers that are not federally registered as required by law. Pictures of Meeks shooting the guns are included in the complaint.

In June, the agent’s source confirmed they had sold Meeks cocaine and then recorded conversations with Meeks about the drugs. He’s reported to be heard on tape telling the federal source that he can’t legally buy guns, so he has his wife buy them.

WAVY News 10’s Andy Fox spoke to Portsmouth Councilman Danny Meeks, who confirmed Kenneth Meeks is his nephew.

“I am devastated by this. I had no idea. Ken is family, and I need to wrap my arms around what happened,” Councilman Meeks said, choking through tears. “I am brokenhearted by today’s events and am trying to understand it like everyone else. I don’t often see Ken, and I’m just sad.”

Agents on scene Thursday said they were not able to comment. Stay with WAVY.com for updates on this developing story.

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