NORFOLK, Va. – An Iowa woman pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and heroin, one count of interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and one count of distribution of heroin.
According to court documents, Latosha L. Prather, 36, of Des Moines, served as the out-of-state heroin and fentanyl supplier for convicted Hampton Roads regional supplier Michelle Best. In September 2017, Prather sold two kilograms of a substance containing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl for $125,000 to Best from Prather’s home-based day care service in Des Moines. Agents and analysts traced approximately $100,000 in cash deposits from Best to Prather. In January 2018, Prather travelled from Des Moines to Virginia Beach where she met with Best in a Wal-Mart parking lot to distribute another kilogram of heroin and fentanyl for $49,000. In March 2018, a Virginia SWAT team working in concert with the DEA executed a search warrant on Best’s Croatan home, and recovered nearly $42,000 in cash, approximately 352 grams of heroin laced with fentanyl, significant quantities of other narcotics, a commercial money counter, and a number of firearms. Best was sentenced in March 2019 to 30 years in prison.
Prather pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl and interstate travel in aid of racketeering. She faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on March 17, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; and James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John F. Butler and Andrew C. Bosse are prosecuting the case.