NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Three Portsmouth men will be serving a combined 44 years in prison for their role in a heroin and fentanyl trafficking conspiracy.
Thirty-five-year-old Abraham Atkins, 46-year-old Eddie L. Tyson and 32-year-old Edward Muckle were all sentenced this week. They are among a dozen arrested as part of “Operation Hardest Hit.” All twelve have pleaded guilty.
Federal authorities arrested several members in this ring back in August, when more than 300 law enforcement agents executed search warrants in Virginia, Georgia, and New York.
Authorities began investigating the group’s leader Leroy Perdue — also known as Dink, Big Cuz and Big Heat — and his drug ring in early 2016 after the heroin overdose death of a Chesapeake resident.
A federal indictment showed the Perdue DTO distributed more than 100 kilograms of heroin — which equates to 250,000 doses — over a 10-year period.
Members of this group were responsible for supplying a violent Portsmouth-based gang. They continued selling drugs even after learning that those drugs resulted in death.
Authorities say Atkins was involved in the group for more than four years, and served as a supplier for two co-defendants and Perdue. Tyson was only involved for nine months, but it came after he served more than six years in state custody.
Authorities say Tyson also possessed a machine gun-style pistol while distributing heroin. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Muckle was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in the ring.
Atkins was sentenced to 20 in prison. Perdue, meanwhile, has elected to go on trial May 18, 2018.