Click for latest closings and delays due to weather

Convicted Norfolk felon sentenced to 15 years for heroin, gun crimes

Vernon Lewis Petway

NORFOLK, Va. – A Norfolk man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for trafficking heroin while armed.

According to court documents, Vernon Lewis Petway, 39, was caught with 97 grams of heroin and a firearm after transporting the heroin by bus from New York City to Norfolk.

At the time of the arrest Petway was on supervision for previous federal drug and gun convictions. As a convicted felon, he is prohibited from carrying firearms.

The case is part of Operation Sand Dragon, a joint operation run by the Norfolk Police Department with assistance from the DEA, ATF, Homeland Security Investigations and the Chesapeake Police Department. After an eight-month-long investigation, law enforcement arrested 44 suspects for their roles in distributing drugs.

Twelve of the suspects were involved in gang activity, which was a major focus of the investigation.

During the investigation, law enforcement recovered roughly 11 ounces of heroin, three pounds of cocaine, three pounds of marijuana, 24 ecstasy pills and nine grams of methamphetamine. The total street value of the drugs was more than $190,000.

Law enforcement also recovered 12 firearms and more than $85,000 in cash.