A Henrico man pleaded guilty today to trafficking over 200 grams of heroin and for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. (Dreamstime)

(Dreamstime)

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Heroin

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Heroin and Possessing a Firearm

March 07, 2019 - 3:51 pm
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RICHMOND, Va. – A Henrico man pleaded guilty to trafficking over 200 grams of heroin and for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. 

“Drug traffickers in possession of firearms pose a significant threat to our communities,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Investigating and prosecuting heroin and fentanyl trafficking crimes is a top priority of this office as we continue to battle this deadly epidemic. We are committed to our mission of public safety and will continue to aggressively pursue those who choose to endanger the safety of the communities we serve.”

According to court documents, Mervin Turner, 37, distributed heroin and fentanyl to a confidential source from his Henrico County residence on two separate occasions in 2018.  On August 28, 2018,   law enforcement executed a search warrant at Turner’s residence and recovered a semi-automatic pistol loaded with a 100-round drum magazine, more than 200 grams of heroin, two stand-up shop presses used to package heroin, marijuana, digital scales, and more than $9000. 

Turner pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Turner faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and maximum penalty of 40 years in prison when sentenced on June 10. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and William C. Smith, Interim Chief of Richmond Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik S. Siebert and Kenneth Simon are prosecuting the case.