This Virginia Beach man had been convicted 8 times. He just admitted to trafficking heroin

A Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty Thursday to maintaining a drug-trafficking operation out of a storage unit and possessing with intent to distribute heroin.

According to federal court documents, Demetress Donyah Bratton, 36, was storing, manufacturing, and packaging heroin for distribution out of a storage unit that he was renting in Virginia Beach.

After executing a search warrant on the storage unit, Virginia Beach Police recovered 89 grams of heroin, $20,000 in cash, cutting agents, other drug paraphernalia, and four guns.

Shortly after the search, Bratton arrived at the storage unit, and SWAT team members arrested him in possession of 38 grams of heroin, cutting agents, more drug paraphernalia, and approximately $1,600.

Bratton has been trafficking heroin for the past six years and is an eight-time felon, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not provide information on Bratton’s other convictions.

Bratton faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum term of 40 years in prison.

He is set to be sentenced Jan. 3.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.