Hampton man who pleaded guilty to leading drug trafficking organization dies in custody

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Hampton man who pleaded guilty to leading a family-run heroin trafficking conspiracy died September 27 while in the custody of the United States Marshals Service.

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 2017,  was the focus of a two-year investigation involving controlled purchases of heroin, law enforcement surveillance and multiple court-authorized wire taps.

Joe was originally arrested in June 2017.