Loudoun County, VA (May 26, 2021) – Acting U.S. Attorney, Raj Parekh, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Special Agent in Charge, Jarod Forget, of the DEA Washington Division, and Sheriff, Mike Chapman, of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office announced today the results of Operation Angels Envy during a press conference in Alexandria, VA.
The operation stemmed from an investigation that began in Loudoun County, Virginia in 2017 and led to the largest seizure of illegal drugs in the history of Loudoun County. In February 2020, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office detectives assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force seized 6.5 million dollars’ worth of drugs, guns, and cash connected to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. Items seized during the investigation included 50 kilograms of cocaine, 2 kilograms of fentanyl, 1 kilogram of heroin, 6 pounds of marijuana, 150 grams of crack cocaine, 100 fentanyl pills, 7 firearms (including one assault rifle), and $1.4 million in U.S. currency.
Last year, an estimated 90,000 people died from drug overdoses nationally, mostly from opioids -- an increase of around 27% from the previous year. “Unfortunately, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC accounted for almost 5,000 of those opioid overdose deaths. We seized enough Fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in Loudoun County- two times over,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. In Loudoun County, there have been five suspected opioid fatalities in 2021 (as of April 15), with two opioid fatalities investigated during the same time-period in 2020.
Since May 2017, investigations under Operation Angels Envy led to the identification and takedown of seven independent, violent drug trafficking organizations operating in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area; their Los Angeles-based transportation network, which used tractor-trailers and shipping crates to move ton quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and other drugs across the country; and their Sinaloa Cartel supply cell. These drug trafficking organizations would then transfer profits and trafficked firearms back to the Sinaloa Cartel. Investigations into the takedown of the transportation network and supply cell led to the identification and takedown of other violent drug trafficking organizations in California, Missouri, Ohio, New England, and New York.
These drug trafficking organizations distributed hundreds of kilograms of deadly drugs, like fentanyl and methamphetamine, throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, monthly. Their transportation network supplied them with ton quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and other deadly drugs, which they shipped into D.C., Maryland, and Virginia communities by way of tractor-trailers and shipping crates. In return, these drug trafficking organizations returned profits and trafficked firearms back to the Sinaloa cartel.
“Much like these drugs having a far-reaching impact in our country, I am proud to say the work of our detectives in Loudoun County in combination with other DEA Task Force members had an even further impact on the operations of the Sinaloa Cartel,” said Sheriff Chapman. “Our law enforcement community must continue to fight this scourge and protect our citizens, and I am glad that we have such dedicated partners in our law enforcement profession that put their lives on the line every day to do just that,” Sheriff Chapman added.
Operation Angels Envy culminated in one of the largest cumulative takedowns in the area – with 33 individuals charged, and seizure totals of 473 pounds of methamphetamine, 42 kilograms of fentanyl (enough to kill over 21 million people – more than the population of D.C., Maryland, Virginia and surrounding countries, combined), 9 kilograms of heroin, 129 kilograms of cocaine, 5,100 pounds of other drugs, over $5.3M in US Currency, 114 firearms (many of which were assault-style weapons), and over $700,000 in jewelry and vehicles.