By Alexa Epitropoulos | firstname.lastname@example.org
Four Alexandria residents were among the 28 people arrested for roles in selling drugs while armed or other criminal acts related to firearms on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Virginia announced in a news release.
The arrests were made as part of Operation Tin Panda, started by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI in the spring of 2017. Law enforcement investigators and prosecutors jointly investigated area blood gangs that were involved in violent crime and other criminal activity in Northern Virginia.
This investigation was done in collaboration with the DEA, the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Service, Prince William County Police Department, Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Police Department and many other organizations and police departments.
The investigation led to the arrests of more than 30 individuals throughout Virginia, Maryland, D.C. and California, who were illegally selling firearms and controlled substances or were involved in other criminal acts.
Those arrested from Alexandria are Deion Wright, 25; Orean Anthony Hayden, 29; Bryan Matthews, 19; and Ezana Demisse, 25. Wright was charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, Hayden was charged with use and carry of a firearm during and relation to a drug trafficking crime, Matthews was charged with use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and Demisse is charged with use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to drug trafficking.
As part of the operation, law enforcement seized firearms, heroin and other controlled substances.