Last state defendants in heroin smuggling ring plead guilty
The last of four defendants in a statewide heroin-smuggling case that included the Shenandoah Valley have pleaded guilty to offenses linked to their roles in the conspiracy.
The defendants, Charles William Smith Jr., 47, of Edinburg, Arthur Marquinton Ronnelle Kinnard, 29, of Winchester, Kimberle Ann Hodsden, 31, and Ryan Kenneth McQuinn, 28, both of Stafford, are among 13 Virginia defendants in the case, plus an additional defendant from New York who has been arrested and charged, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy’s office in Roanoke.
The defendants also include Ronnie Maurice Jones, 37, of Woodstock, identified earlier by law enforcement officials as the largest heroin and cocaine dealer in western Virginia.
The prosecution has accused Jones of obtaining 80 to 150 grams of heroin per week and distributing it to others for sale in Frederick, Shenandoah, Page, Warren and Rockingham counties.
“Mr. Jones and his co-conspirators supervised a significant illegal business that imported heroin from New York and distributed it across Virginia,” Heaphy said in a written statement accompanying the news release. “We will continue to do all we can to identify patterns of heroin trafficking and dismantle the criminal conspiracies that bring this poison to our communities.”
The investigation included the seizure of several firearms, including one stolen pistol from Shenandoah County, according to the news release.
Others from the area who have pleaded guilty to offenses linked to the conspiracy include Ashton Grace Kern, 23, of Strasburg, Francis D. Alvarez, 38, of Woodstock, Logan Montgomery Rose, 26, of Woodstock, Joshua Adam Pettyjohn, 29, of Woodstock, and Columbus Butler, 59, of Edinburg.