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Commonwealth's Attorney News Releases

Posted on: October 17, 2023

Commonwealth v. Rashad D. Dooley

Rashad Dooley Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Having Drugs Mailed to Norfolk City Jail

NORFOLK, Va. – On Monday, 30-year-old Rashad Detwan Dooley pleaded guilty in Norfolk Circuit Court to attempting to smuggle prescription opioids into the Norfolk City Jail by having an accomplice mail the drugs. Mr. Dooley committed this crime while he awaited sentencing for his role in the 2011 murder of Old Dominion University student Christopher Cummings.

On Oct. 28, 2022, a Norfolk Sheriff’s deputy intercepted a package addressed to a different inmate who, at the time, was housed in the same cell section of the jail as Mr. Dooley. The package was labeled as “legal mail,” supposedly from Mr. Dooley’s Norfolk-based attorney, but the return address on the package did not match that of the attorney’s law office, and the package was stamped as being mailed from a post office in Newport News. When deputies contacted the law office, staff confirmed that they did not mail such a package to the jail. Mr. Dooley was the only inmate in that cell block at the time from the City of Newport News.

Members of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office Security Threat Unit opened the package and found numerous doses of buprenorphine — a Schedule III controlled substance and opioid that can be used to treat opioid addiction but itself can be abused for recreational purposes — taped to pieces of paper inside the package. Video surveillance footage from the post office in Newport News showed a woman known to Mr. Dooley mailing the package, and recordings of jail calls between the woman and Mr. Dooley confirmed that the two discussed delivering a package with the wrong name on it.

Mr. Dooley appeared in Norfolk Circuit Court on Feb. 10 and was sentenced to an active 25 years in prison for his role in the murder of Christopher Cummings.

On Monday, Mr. Dooley pleaded guilty to attempting or conspiring to deliver a controlled substance to a prisoner. Judge Joseph C. Lindsey accepted Mr. Dooley’s plea, and, pursuant to a plea agreement, Judge Lindsey sentenced Mr. Dooley to five years in prison with that sentence to run concurrently with the 25-year sentence Mr. Dooley is currently serving. As a condition of Mr. Dooley’s guilty plea and in recognition of Mr. Dooley’s role in recruiting his associate, the Commonwealth agreed to move nolle prosequi on the charges against her.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Cynthia D. Collard and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail L. Ottinger prosecuted Mr. Dooley’s case on behalf of the Commonwealth. Lt. George S. Hoggard and Sgt. L. Jay Bateman of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office Security Threat Unit led the investigation of the case.

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