Man responsible for fatal overdose in Nags Head pleads guilty to drug, firearms charges

U.S. Department of Justice

A Norfolk man who supplied the drugs that led to a fatal overdose of a Nags Head resident pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to distribute fentanyl and heroin, and to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to U.S. District Court documents, Christopher McKinley Barnes, 36, sold heroin and fentanyl from late 2016 until he was arrested on April 16, 2019. During that time, Barnes sold a total of over a kilogram of heroin in the Hampton Roads area and to users from the Outer Banks.

In July 2018, he sold a mixture of heroin and fentanyl that led to the fatal overdose of a victim in Nags Head, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release. During a search of Barnes’ home, officers recovered heroin and a loaded handgun, among other items, court records show.

Barnes is the fourth and final member of the conspiracy to plead guilty. Deshawn Jones, 29, of Portsmouth; James Boone, 48, of Eure, North Carolina; and Grey Miller, 32, of Kill Devil Hills, all pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Federal prosecutors say the group was responsible for selling fentanyl and heroin to individuals in Portsmouth, Norfolk, and the Outer Banks. At least two fatal overdoses and several non-fatal overdoses have been linked to the group.

Barnes is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 8. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C; Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division; Col. K.L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police; and Phil Webster, Chief of the Nags Head Police Department, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Bosse and William B. Jackson are prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.