Portsmouth man sentenced to 24 years in prison for role in drug trafficking conspiracy

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Portsmouth man was sentenced Wednesday to 24 years in prison for his role in a large heroin and fentanyl drug trafficking conspiracy.

33-year-old Portsmouth resident Rhadu Schoolfield was the chief lieutenant and face of the drug trafficking organization Perdue DTO. Law enforcement said he managed his own network of distributors, traveled between New York and Baltimore to obtain wholesale amounts of raw heroin to bring back for distribution in Hampton Roads.

Court documents say that on August 14, 2017, more than 300 law enforcement agents made arrests and executed search warrants in Virginia, Georgia and New York. The takedown was the result of a multi-year, multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency Oragnized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation called “Operation Hardest Hit.”

The documents say that law enforcement began investigating Leroy Perdue and Perdue DTO in early 2016 after the heroin overdose death of a young Chesapeake resident. With the help of nearly two dozen Confidential Human Sources, law enforcement infiltrated the Perdue DTO and made 10 undercover controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl.

On June 22, 2017, the investigative team arrested Schoolfield in Norfolk with more than 800 grams of heroin after he returned from a trip to New York. The indictment says that the Perdue DTO distributed in excess of 100 kilograms – approximately 250,000 doses – of heroin over a 10-year period.

Members of the Perdue DTO were said to be responsible for supplying a violent gang based in Portsmouth, and they continued to sell dangerous narcotics even after learning that their drugs caused deaths.

Schoolfield was said to have used his status as a local “celebrity” and rapper to advertise and recruit for the organization. Advertising and recruiting efforts included posting the music video for his single “Dumb Hard” on YouTube. The lyrics are said to frame his criminal conduct in a positive light.

Perdue is scheduled for trial on May 15.

The following people listed below previously pleaded guilty:

Name, Age Hometown Guilty Plea Sentence
Abraham Atkins, 35 Portsmouth September 5, 2017 20 Years
Eddie L. Tyson, 46 Portsmouth September 5, 2017 15 Years
Edward Muckle, 32 Portsmouth September 5, 2017 9 years
Jamars Cooper, 26 Portsmouth September 5, 2017 11 years
Victoria Waller, 42 Portsmouth September 6, 2017 10 years, 6 months
Dominic Diablo Mosley, 35 Portsmouth September 6, 2017 15 years
Nicholas Godwin, 37 Portsmouth September 6, 2017 12 years, 4 months
Kevin Lawrence, 37 Portsmouth September 7, 2017 13 years
Tywon McKelvy, 42 New York October 3, 2017 March 7
Darion Perdue, 24 Portsmouth October 17, 2017 March 19
Christina James New York October 18, 2017 5 years
Rhadu Schoolfield, 33 Portsmouth October 18, 2017 24 years