Judge sentences three for roles in heroin ring
A Front Royal man must serve more than 15 years in federal prison for his role in an area heroin-distribution ring.
Chief Judge Michael F. Urbanski sentenced Adrian Darnell Edwards in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg on Monday to 190 months or 15 years and 10 months for conspiring with others to distribute 1,000 grams or more of heroin.
Edwards, 22, pleaded guilty in January through an agreement reached between his attorney, David L. Parker, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Wolthuis. The court dismissed Edwards’ remaining charges under terms of the agreement. Edwards must complete five years of supervised probation upon his release from prison. The court recommended that he receive drug and/or mental health treatment while in prison and that he reside at a federal penitentiary close to his home in Maryland.
A statement of facts agreed to by both parties indicates that Edwards participated in what federal authorities called the “Chris Conspiracy,” a distribution operation in effect as early as 2013 that connected suppliers in Baltimore to Front Royal.
Edwards appeared for the sentencing hearing during which the court heard arguments from Wolthuis and the defense. The prosecutor asked that the court sentence Edwards to a prison term at the top of the guidelines while the defense sought punishment at the low end, according to a court document giving an account of the hearing. The federal prosecutor argued that Edwards should receive an enhanced punishment for assaulting co-defendant Randall Freeman while the two were incarcerated. Edwards denied he struck Freeman.
Urbanski advised the defendant that the court had not yet accepted the plea agreement and told him that he could withdraw the deal and move forward with a trial, according to the account of the hearing. After consulting with his attorney, Edwards asked the court to proceed with the sentencing.
Urbanski found that the prosecutor did not present sufficient evidence to support a harsher sentence for obstruction of justice, the account notes. The judge proceeded with using the guidelines and accepted the plea agreement that called for sentencing within the range of 144-216 months.
Urbanski also sentenced two other co-defendants on Monday who were indicted in federal court as a result of the investigation.
Urbanski sentenced Alisha Marie Stocking to four years in a federal penitentiary with credit for the 86 days she spent in state custody from Nov. 11, 2016, to Dec. 7, 2016, and 59 days from March 6, 2017, to May 3, 2017. Stocking, 21, of Toms Brook, must serve five years of supervised probation upon release.
Special conditions of her supervised probation include requirements that she participate in programs for mental health and substance-abuse treatment and she must obtain her GED while in the Bureau of Prisons.
Urbanski sentenced Randall Wayne Freeman, 40, of Manassas, to four years in prison with credit for time spent in state custody in 2016 and 2017. The judge ordered Freeman to serve four years of supervised probation upon release. The court recommended that Freeman reside in a facility as close to his home in Front Royal as possible and consistent with his security classification, and specifically to avoid housing the defendant with co-defendants Adrian Darnell Edwards and Da’Shawn Lee Edwards.