Thursday, July 18, 2024

Virginia Beach man trafficked pot from California, prosecutors say

Jamel Stokes -- Southside Daily/Courtesy of Western Tidewater Regional Jail
Jamel Stokes — Southside Daily/Courtesy of Western Tidewater Regional Jail

NORFOLK — A Virginia Beach man was sentenced here Tuesday to three years in prison for his involvement in a conspiracy to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana from California to Virginia and his involvement in laundering the marijuana proceeds.

According to court documents, Jamel Stokes, 26, was involved with several others in trafficking large quantities of marijuana from California to Virginia.

Stokes would receive the shipments of marijuana from California at two Virginia Beach addresses, and then break down the shipments into smaller packages for further distribution in the Hampton Roads area, federal prosecutors said.

Stokes also took part in laundering the proceeds from the sale of the marijuana shipments by depositing the money into various bank accounts in Virginia, and on the same day someone in California would withdraw the money from those same accounts.

Stokes also hid money in boxes and shipped them to California. Stokes was caught when a large shipment of marijuana was interdicted at the post office.

A delivery of the parcel was made to the address on the shipping label. When a “co-conspirator” picked the box up, he was arrested and told law enforcement Stokes had been paying him to pick up boxes full of marijuana and to deliver them to various addresses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Between the two Virginia Beach addresses Stokes used to take delivery of marijuana, a total of 47 parcels were delivered from Northern California with a total weight of “50 kilograms or more but less than 100 kilograms of marijuana,” prosecutors said.

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