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Date: 08-21-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Anthony Brian Barnett

Case Number:


Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia (Roanoke County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Roanoke

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: Roanoke, Virginia criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with drug dealing from behind bars.

Anthony Brian Barnett, 37, pleaded guilty in April 2023 to conspiring to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin in 2019 and for also distributing para-fluorofentanyl, a 10-times more powerful form of fentanyl, in 2022. Barnett will serve his federal sentence after he finishes serving an 8-year state sentence as a result of his convictions in Roanoke City Circuit Court for Malicious Wounding by Mob and Assault and Battery.

According to court documents, Barnett was arrested on July 20, 2019, for his involvement in a May 2019 assault and shooting that occurred in Roanoke, Virginia. Prior to his arrest, Barnett was involved in the trafficking of narcotics in and around the City of Roanoke.

Following this arrest, and while incarcerated, Barnett directed his co-conspirator, Aminee Jewel Davenport, 37 of Roanoke, Virginia, to drive to a residence to obtain his heroin to then sell to a “customer.” On a recorded jail phone call, Barnett told Davenport where to find the heroin, how to weigh it, and how much money to charge. Barnett, however, was unaware that the “customer” was a confidential informant working with the Virginia State Police. Davenport then sold approximately four ounces of heroin to the informant on two occasions. As a result, both Barnett and Davenport were indicted by a federal grand jury.

While awaiting trial for this conduct, in March 2022, Barnett obtained what he believed was heroin, but was later determined to be para-fluorofentanyl, from an inmate in his jail pod. Barnett then sold this substance to other inmates, only to be caught after an inmate in his pod died from a drug overdose. Although Barnett was not charged with contributing to this inmate’s death, his continued involvement in dealing deadly substances still merited this significant sentence.

The Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with their partners in the Roanoke City and Roanoke County Police Departments, participated in the investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Coleman Adams and Kristin Johnson prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 186 months in prison.

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