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Norfolk man pleads guilty in drug trafficking conspiracy that resulted in overdoses, deaths

NORFOLK, Va. – A man pleaded guilty Tuesday for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

Officials say Erskine A. Dawson’s role in the conspiracy resulted in more than a dozen overdoses and multiple deaths.

According to court documents, Dawson, 33, managed more than half a dozen people who sold between 10 kilograms of heroin from a motel off Military Highway in Virginia Beach.

Dawson’s drug supplier, a New Jersey man named Kenneth “Bones” Stuart, used stuffed animals to hide the drugs as they were taken to the East Coast on commercial buses.

Court documents say Dawson’s organization was known for its potent heroin and fentanyl, which was distributed in baggies stamped “King of Death,” “Last Call,” and “Steph Curry.”

Dawson and his dealers knew that several people had overdosed and died using the products, but they continued to sell it anyway.

According to a statement of facts, Dawson called Stuart to tell him about a heroin overdose death. Stuart advised Dawson to continue to sell the heroin, which he did.

In December 2016, officers from Virginia Beach and Chesapeake executed warrants on Dawson and his co-conspirators at two motels. They found nearly 2,000 wax baggies containing heroin and fentanyl.

Officers found loaded firearms, a digital scale, several thousand dollars in cash and a stuffed animal whose stitching had been pulled apart in Dawson’s room.

Dawson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to manufacture and distribute heroin and fentanyl, distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, and possession of firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced on November 1.