Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ex-Peninsula businessman ran a drug trafficking group and conspired with an ex-Hampton cop, feds say

Alex Jermaine Burnett (WYDaily/Courtesy of Western Tidewater Regional Jail)
Alex Jermaine Burnett (WYDaily/Courtesy of Western Tidewater Regional Jail)

A man who owned a business on the Peninsula was sentenced to serve time in a federal prison for what prosecutors described as a “large-scale drug trafficking organization on the Virginia Peninsula.”

Alex Jermaine Burnett, 39, was sentenced Thursday to 30 years. Prosecutors said he led an organization that distributed cocaine, heroin, MDMA, marijuana and crack in James City County and Newport News from 2013 to 2017.

Burnett owned 9Round Gym in the Peninsula Town Center.

Federal prosecutors said Burnett, during the years of selling drugs, received information from Deangelo Freeman, who was then a detective in the Special Investigations Unit of the Hampton Police Division.

Freeman started as a patrol officer in Hampton in 2010. According to court documents, he was arrested in Idaho in March 2018

“The law enforcement sensitive information alerted Burnett and his organization to the ongoing FBI investigation and compromised an undercover confidential informant,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in a news release.

Freeman previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Deangelo Freeman (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Western Tidewater Regional Jail)
Deangelo Freeman (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Western Tidewater Regional Jail)

He admitted to providing information to Burnett about an ongoing federal criminal investigation. Freeman learned of this information while serving as a narcotics detective and participating in the investigation of Burnett, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years.

Freeman is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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