FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 24, 2012
For Information Contact:
Maryland Man Sentenced to Five-Year Prison Term
For Taking Part in Drug Conspiracy
- He and Others Operated Near Seventh and O Streets NW, Other Locations -
WASHINGTON - Joseph Young, 35, of Lanham, Maryland, was sentenced today to a prison term of five years on a federal charge stemming from his role in a drug trafficking ring that operated in the Washington, D.C. area, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Young, also known as Joseph Moorehead, pled guilty in December 2011 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. He was sentenced by the Honorable Reggie B. Walton. Upon completion of his prison term, Young will be placed on five years of supervised release. The judge also issued an order of forfeiture calling for Young and others to be responsible for $1 million as proceeds constituting or derived from the drug trafficking activities.
Young was among 17 people arrested last year following their indictments in August 2011 on conspiracy and other charges. The indictments followed a nearly three-year investigation by the FBI and MPD into the trafficking of cocaine, cocaine base, and marijuana. The ring’s activities occurred in the area surrounding Seventh and O Streets NW and in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
As part of his guilty plea, Young admitted that between January 2010 and August 2011 he was engaged in a conspiracy to distribute powder cocaine. He stated that he received cocaine from a supplier in the drug trafficking organization for redistribution in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. He acknowledged paying the supplier approximately $15,000 to $16,000 for 500 grams of cocaine and approximately $33,000 for one kilogram of cocaine.
Young also admitted that it was foreseeable that, during the conspiracy, he and others, including distributors, suppliers and street-level dealers, would have used, received or earned at least $1 million in cash proceeds derived from or related to illegal narcotics trafficking.
The sentencing of Young took place two days after the guilty plea of one of the leaders of the organization, Espey Brown, Jr., 37, of Washington, D.C., to two federal charges in the case. Brown is to be sentenced on May 22, 2012.
The prosecution grew out of an FBI/MPD alliance called the Safe Streets Task Force. The Safe Streets Initiative involves more than 150 Safe Streets Task Forces around the country that combat street gangs by combining federal, state and local police resources. The task forces, which began in 1992 in Los Angeles and the District of Columbia, address gang activity including drug-related crimes. Sharing resources, manpower and intelligence allows federal prosecutors to focus on securing the maximum sentences and penalties for gang members found guilty. By working through a Task Force, investigators can focus on the entire criminal enterprise, instead of the prosecution of individual gang members.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin and Chief Lanier commended the work of the FBI and MPD members of the task force who investigated the case. They also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, and the Prince George’s County Police Department, all of which provided assistance. Finally, they cited the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Legal Assistant Diane Brashears, Program Specialist Kim Hall, and Paralegal Specialists Carolyn Carter McKinley and Teesha Tobias. They also acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth F. Whitted, Emily Scruggs, and Seth Adam Meinero, who are prosecuting the case, as well as the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is assisting in the investigation and prosecution.