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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

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For media inquiries only, contact:  Brian J. Gottstein
Email: bgottstein@oag.state.va.us (best contact method)
Phone: 804-786-5874

~Protecting Virginia's most vulnerable citizens~

Valentine Bloods leader sentenced to nine years in prison for soliciting murder, felony gang participation

RICHMOND (October 1, 2012) - Today, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced that the leader of the Valentine Bloods in Virginia was sentenced to nine years in prison when he entered an Alford plea to three counts of soliciting murder and three counts of felony gang participation while already in prison. Judge Leslie M. Osborn accepted the pleas today in Lunenburg County Circuit Court, and found Larog Anthony Trowell guilty of all six counts. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt. Rather, it is an admission by the defendant that the commonwealth has enough evidence to convince a judge or jury to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Pursuant to a written plea agreement, Judge Osborn sentenced Trowell to 60 years imprisonment with 51 years suspended, for an active penitentiary sentence of nine years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.

While an inmate at the Lunenburg Correctional Facility, Trowell continued controlling Valentine Blood members with several forms of communication. Utilizing gang codes and signals, Trowell ordered subordinates on the street to kill fellow gang members for acts he considered treason and insubordination. The acts were never carried out to fruition and no one was killed or hurt. 

The Valentine Bloods is one of the original eight sects that make up the United Blood Nation, the largest criminal street gang on the East Coast. Formed in 1993 within the New York City jail system on Rikers Island, the Valentine Bloods have thousands of members across the country, and approximately 100 members in cities throughout Virginia, including Richmond and Petersburg. The Valentine Bloods gang is engaged in numerous criminal acts, including murder, narcotics trafficking, robbery, and firearms violations.

"This successful prosecution is the result of a continuing collaboration between the Virginia Department of Corrections, the Virginia State Police and the Office of the Attorney General," said Cuccinelli. "Today, we send a strong message that any effort to coordinate gang activity from a prison cell will result in an additional and lengthy prison term.  Those who attempt to carry out orders of imprisoned gang members can look forward to a reunion behind bars."

"This case is a prime example of our Department's commitment to eradicating gang activity within the commonwealth," said Lt. Colonel H.C. Davis, Director of Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. "The collaboration between State Police, Department of Corrections and the attorney general's office was paramount to the successful conclusion of this complex investigation."

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Phil Figura, a gang prosecutor assigned to Attorney General Cuccinelli's Special Prosecutions and Organized Crime Section. 

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A copy of this news release may be found on the attorney general's web site here.

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