Newport News man faces 27 years for cocaine trafficking

Photo courtesy: Western Tidewater Regional Jail

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News man was sentenced on Thursday to 27 years in prison for his role in a large-scale cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

Marvin O’Neal Carter, 50, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess five kilograms or more of cocaine, as well as possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and maintaining a drug-involved premises, according to court documents.

His co-conspirators, 42-year-old Michael Stephen Kuna of Canada and two brothers from California, 50-year-old Hilario Rodriquez and 49-year-old Daniel Rodriquez, were also charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine.

These charges come from a large-scale drug bust involving the DEA, FBI and Newport News police on Oct. 20 of 2016.

Agents observed the arrival of a tractor-trailer at an auto garage leased by Carter on 39th Street in Newport News that day. Kuna stopped traffic and directed the driver to unload next to the garage.

Related: Four men charged in large-scale cocaine operation in Newport News

The Rodriguez brothers arrived and parked in Carter’s garage parking lot. The men then worked together to unload cocaine from a hidden compartment located underneath the trailer.

A short time later, Kuna left and returned with two large duffel bags which were taken underneath the trailer. After emptying the duffel bags, Kuna left the location.

Law enforcement agents stopped Kuna on I-64 near Mercury Boulevard and located the two duffel bags in his car. Investigators said the duffel bags smelled like wet money. While Kuna was being arrested, agents carried out a search of the garage and trailer.

Approximately 120 pounds of cocaine and 100 bundles of cash, totaling nearly $1 million, were recovered. Federal agents also found several guns including two AR-15 assault rifles, a quantity of heroin and more cocaine, in addition to approximately $49,000 in cash from a safe after searching the garage, according to a federal indictment. Further investigation revealed the tractor-trailer reportedly made 16 border crossings into Mexico in a six-month period.