Prosecutors: Virginia meth dealer pleads guilty to distribution

Prosecutors: Virginia meth dealer pleads guilty to distribution
Gavel on sounding block (Source: Gray News)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Dinwiddie man pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine on Thursday.

According to court documents, Eric Darnell Royal, Jr., 23, went to Chula Gas Mart in Amelia in October 2019. Officials say when he arrived, he had a red bag around his waist with illegal narcotics and had a firearm inside his vehicle.

“Shortly after arriving, two individuals approached Royal, assaulted him, and ripped the red bag from his waist. A struggle ensued in the parking lot between Royal and the two men causing multiple plastic baggies to fall from the red bag onto the ground. Following the fight, Royal picked up the red bag and left the gas station. Law enforcement later recovered, on the ground in the parking lot, two clear plastic baggies with 342 purple oval unmarked tablets determined to be 76.49 grams of methamphetamine and 58.99 grams of marijuana,” a release said.

Officials said an off-duty law enforcement officer who saw the fight followed Royal to a home in Amelia County and called the sheriff’s office for backup.

“Once arriving to the scene, the Amelia Deputies looked into Royal’s vehicle and in plain view observed a firearm and a red bag on the driver’s seat. After conferring with investigators who responded to the Chula Gas Mart scene about the fight and a potential shooting, the deputies applied for and obtained a state search warrant for Royal’s vehicle,” the release said.

Inside the vehicle, police said they found “a Glock 9mm, Model 34, semi-automatic pistol, loaded with 17 rounds, a Glock 30 round magazine (empty), a red zippered bag containing: green leafy material, $200 in United States currency, and plastic baggies with 15.89 grams of methamphetamine purple powder, a variety of unspent ammunition, digital scales, a Glock 9mm magazine, and a Taurus magazine.”

In August, federal agents arrested Royal at his workplace in Chester. When federal agents searched his car then, they found “a loaded Sig Sauer, Model P229, .40 caliber, semi-automatic pistol; a vacuum-sealed bag with marijuana residue; a digital scale; and marijuana.”

Royal pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 2, 2021.

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