Hampton man pleads guilty to leading drug trafficking organization

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton man pleaded guilty Wednesday to leading a family-run heroin trafficking conspiracy that distributed large amounts of heroin throughout Virginia.

Court documents say 67-year-old William Arthur Joe – also known as “Pops,” “Unc” and “Rudy K” – was the leader of an organization on the Peninsula that received heroin from sources in New York and New Jersey and sold it in Hampton Roads.

As the head of the organization, records say Joe had multiple family members and acquaintances distribute the heroin. The organization, which operated from at least 2014 until Joe’s arrest in June 2017 –  was the focus of a two-year investigation involving controlled purchases of heroin, law enforcement surveillance and multiple court-authorized wire taps.

The organization was responsible for distributing more than three kilograms of heroin.

“Mr. Joe led a large-scale heroin trafficking conspiracy for many years in Hampton Roads,” 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. I want to thank our investigative partners at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Norfolk for their terrific work on this important case.”

Joe pleaded guilty to continuing criminal enterprise and faces a mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison when sentenced on September 24.