Thursday, May 26, 2022

Jury Convicts Local Woman on Heroin and Money Laundering Charges

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

NEWPORT NEWS — On Friday, August 13, a federal jury convicted a local woman on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute heroin and also on conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Court records show that Contessa Williams, 45 of Hampton, conspired with other people (including her then-boyfriend, Tracy Hall, 46 of Norfolk) to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute over 1,000 grams of heroin between January 2014 and May 2017.

Hall pled guilty to being the leader of the drug conspiracy and with distributing at least 50 kilograms of heroin for a total claimed profit of $1.5 million.

A release issued by Acting United States Attorney Raj Parekh of the U.S. Department of Justice – Eastern District of Virginia states that Williams role was to assist Hall in retrieving, laundering and spending the proceeds from the drugs sold. She also deposited proceeds in her personal bank account as well as used drug money to start a liquor store in Georgia.

After Hall’s 2016 arrest, Williams continued to collect drug proceeds at Hall’s direction and relayed his directives to fellow conspirators who sold drugs on the Peninsula.

“The jury’s verdict holds the defendant accountable for participating in a multi-year conspiracy to distribute large quantities of dangerous opioids and laundering the proceeds of this serious crime,” said Parekh. “We are grateful to the trial team and everyone who worked with our Office to secure justice in this case on behalf of the community.”

As a result of her role, Williams faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years to a maximum of life in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 9. Parekh noted that actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum and that the federal district court judge will determine sentencing (if any) after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

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