FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 2, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to 65-Month Prison Term
For Taking Part in Drug Conspiracy
- He and Others Operated Near Seventh and O Streets NW, Other Locations -
WASHINGTON -Marcus Alfred Gurley, 31, of Glenn Dale, Maryland, was sentenced today to a prison term of 65 months on federal charges 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).
Gurley 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 as well as a firearms offense. He was sentenced by the Honorable Reggie B. Walton. After his prison term, Gurley will be placed on five years of supervised release and required to perform 200 hours of community service. The judge also issued an order of forfeiture calling for Gurley and others to be responsible for $1 million as proceeds constituting or derived from the drug trafficking activities.
Gurley 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, Gurley 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 $4,500 for 125 grams of cocaine, $15,000 to $16,000 for 500 grams of cocaine and approximately $33,000 for one kilogram of cocaine. Gurley also admitted being responsible for obtaining and selling between 500 grams and two kilograms of powder cocaine while taking part in the conspiracy.
The weapons charge stems from three firearms that were recovered, along with ammunition, in a search of Gurley’s home on August 9, 2011, the day of his arrest.
The sentencing was the latest in a series of recent developments in the case. Co-defendant Joseph Young, 35, of Lanham, Maryland, was sentenced on February 24, 2012 to a five-year prison term. In addition, one of the leaders of the organization, Espey Brown, Jr., 37, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty on February 22, 2012 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.