LYNCHBURG, Va.- A federal grand jury sitting in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville has indicted five individuals for conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar, Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division, Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police, and City of Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema announced today.
The grand jury returned a 14-count superseding indictment yesterday charging Jeremel Lawrence Storey, Donnell Lamont Miller, Maggie Lee Smith, Ricky Donnell Abner, and Charay Lamont Trent each with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. According to allegations in the indictment, Storey was involved in distributing more than five kilograms of cocaine and Miller, Smith, and Abner were involved in distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine.
In addition, Storey, 43, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is charged with one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, one count of distribution of cocaine, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, specifically a short-barreled rifle. Miller, 41, of Lynchburg, is charged with an additional count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine
Smith, 27, of Lynchburg, is charged with an additional two counts of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of distribution of cocaine. Trent, 41, of Lynchburg, is charged with five additional counts of distribution of cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Abner, 42, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to court documents, beginning around January 2016 and continuing through January 2021, the defendants conspired to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana.
Court documents allege that Storey was the main source of supply for the conspiracy from his residence in Charlotte, North Carolina. Storey regularly traveled from Charlotte to Lynchburg to supply multiple individuals with kilogram quantities of cocaine and collect payment. Storey also directed couriers to perform these trips and invited distributors, such as Trent, Smith, and Miller, to travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, to obtain narcotics. The indictment also includes notice of the forfeiture of several vehicles, approximately $89,000 in United States currency, and 32 items of jewelry, purses, and shoes alleged to be the proceeds of drug trafficking.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Virginia State Police’s Central Virginia Drug and Gang Task Force, and the City of Lynchburg Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Sean Welsh is prosecuting the case for the United States.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Virginia