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News Of The Day

Man gets 22 years for local drug ring
August 2011

A New York man was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison Wednesday after pleading guilty earlier this year to operating a large drug distribution ring through Charlottesville.

Rodney Wayne Barnes, 44, of Queens, N.Y., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville on charges of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine, heroin and powder cocaine and money laundering.

Barnes, who was been in jail since his arrest in July 2010, was the kingpin of a drug distribution ring that brought drugs through Charlottesville to other cities in Virginia and North Carolina.

His drug activities attracted police attention after residents on Altavista Avenue reported suspicious activities going on in a neighboring house, officials said at his guilty plea earlier this year.

Ron Huber, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, said the sentence brings an end to a drug case that brought drugs through Charlottesville for more than a year.

“[The Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force] did a great job in this case,” Huber said. “Once they got word [Barnes] was bringing drugs into the area they got to working on it and broke up the ring.”

Barnes’ 14 co-defendants have also entered guilty pleas to their roles in the conspiracy and have been sentenced, Huber said. Those sentences ranged from 16 months to more than 144 months in federal prison, he said.