‘Operation Tin Panda Takedown’ nets dozens involved with drugs, gangs

WASHINGTON  — A coordinated federal-local crackdown on drugs and violent crime in Northern Virginia last year has resulted in dozens of convictions.

“Operation Tin Panda Takedown” involved over 300 law enforcement officials, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for Virginia’s eastern district. It targeted gangs and other drug distribution involved in such crimes as homicide, shootings, firearms distribution and malicious wounding.

Over 40 were arrested. Seized in the operation were more than 95 firearms; 3 pounds of cocaine base; 10 pounds of cocaine; 7 pounds of crystal meth; 5 pounds of heroin; 4 pounds of ecstasy; 227 pounds of marijuana; 79 pounds of THC; $150,000 in cash; and nine vehicles valued at over $300,000.

Twelve have been sentenced to terms ranging from 27 months to 15 years. The rest await sentencing this summer, with some facing mandatory minimum sentences of up to 40 years.

  • Q: When is the primary? When do polls open?
  • The 2020 Democratic presidential primary in Virginia is March 3, 2020. Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.

  • Q: What's on the ballot? Who can vote?
  • Only the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for president will be on the ballot. The list of candidates on the ballot includes some candidates who have already dropped out of the race.

    Virginia’s is an open primary — meaning any registered voter can cast a ballot regardless of their party registration.

    The Virginia Republican Party has notified the Virginia Department of Elections it will not hold a primary on March 3. President Donald Trump is running for reelection and is expected to be officially selected as the state party’s nominee at a party convention.

    Democratic and Republican primaries to select candidates for the U.S. House and Senate are set to take place June 9, 2020.

  • Q: What do I need to vote?
  • You must have been registered to vote at least 22 days before Election Day.

    When you show up to the polls, you will need to show a photo ID to vote in person. Acceptable forms of ID include:

    • Virginia driver’s license
    • Virginia DMV-issued photo ID
    • United States passport
    • Employer-issued photo ID
    • Virginia Voter Photo ID card
    • Other U.S. or Virginia government-issued photo ID
    • Student photo ID issued by a school, college or university located in Virginia
    • Tribal enrollment or other tribal photo ID

    If you show up to vote and don’t have ID, you will have to vote using a provisional ballot.

  • Q: Voting absentee?
  • The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is Feb. 25. You can apply online for one, and register to vote if you aren’t already, at the Virginia Department of Election’s website, as well as in-person or by email, fax and standard mail.

    If you already signed up to vote absentee and received your ballot, you must turn it in to your voter registration office by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Absentee voters can also check the status of their ballot through the state’s online citizen portal.

  • Q: Need accommodations?
  • If you are 65 or older or you have a physical disability, you can vote from your car at your polling place on Election Day. The department of elections recommends you bring a helper with you who can go into the polling place and request curbside assistance.

  • Q: Who else is voting?
  • A lot of people. They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing. Virginia is one of 14 states plus American Samoa that are voting March 3.

  • Q: Will WTOP have election coverage for Maryland and D.C.?
  • Absolutely! A similar set of FAQs will be set up for both. Stay tuned.

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