FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 10, 2012
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Two District Men Plead Guilty to Charges
For Their Roles in Violent Drug Ring
- Crimes Included Two Murders, Other Shootings -
WASHINGTON - Two men pled guilty today to federal charges stemming from their roles in a violent drug ring that operated for nearly two decades in the Washington, D.C. area, selling heroin, cocaine and other narcotics, 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).
David M. Long and Rico L. Thomas, both 39, pled guilty to a charge of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy. Long and Thomas, both from Washington, D.C., entered their pleas before the Honorable John D. Bates in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Judge Bates scheduled sentencing of both defendants for July 18, 2012. The plea agreement, which is subject to the Court’s approval, calls for Long to be sentenced to 29 years in prison and for Thomas to be sentenced to 28 years.
According to the government’s evidence, Long was one of the leaders of an organization that was involved in a variety of criminal activities from 1990 through 2008 in the Washington, D.C. area, including narcotics distribution and murder. Thomas was among the members and associates of the organization.
Today’s guilty pleas involved crimes including two murders:
- The murder of Anthony Morrisey, 20, in July 1990, committed by Long and another man.
- The murder of Franklin Moyler, in January 2007, committed by Thomas and another man as a murder-for-hire from Long.
Officers with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) found Mr. Morrisey’s body early July 12, 1990, near an alley off the 100 block of 58th Street SE. He had been shot four times in the head. The investigation showed that Mr. Morrisey had been kidnapped on or about July 11,1990. In a ransom call to the victim’s friends, the kidnappers demanded $20,000 and a kilogram of cocaine. In later calls to Mr. Morrisey’s father, the kidnappers appeared to settle for $10,000, which was to be delivered to Evans Junior High School.
The government’s evidence showed that Long and others held Morrisey at gunpoint in the basement of a residence in the 100 block of 58th Street SE. When they learned that the police were in the area of the junior high school, they walked Mr. Morrisey outside, toward the alley. Long and a second man shot Mr. Morrisey.
Mr. Moyler’s body was found early Jan. 18, 2007 in the 4600 block of Hillside Road SE. He, too, had been shot to death. The government’s evidence showed that Long had offered $10,000 to whoever killed Mr. Moyler. Long suspected that Mr. Moyler had shot him in the legs in the wake of a drug dispute in 2002. As a result of the shooting, Long’s legs were amputated. Mr. Moyler later was incarcerated for another offense, and shortly after his release from prison, sometime before the murder, Long got word out about the $10,000 offer. Thomas got the information, later carried out the killing, and was paid the money.
In addition to these two murders, Long targeted at least two others who he wanted killed, offering $10,000 for each slaying. One victim was shot on Jan. 27, 2007 and another was shot on June 1, 2007. Both men survived the shootings. Long paid Thomas and another man approximately $7,000 for each of these shootings, the government’s evidence showed.
Two other defendants are awaiting trial in the case. Both have pled not guilty.
This prosecution grew out of a long-term FBI/MPD alliance called the Safe Streets Task Force that targets violent drug trafficking gangs in the District of Columbia. The Safe Streets Initiative is funded in part by the Baltimore Washington High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area as well as the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The initiative involves more than 150 Safe Streets Task Forces across 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.
In announcing the pleas, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin, and Chief Lanier praised the efforts of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, as well as the MPD. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Prince George’s County, Md., Police Department, especially from Sgt. Dave Blazer, Detective David Gurry and Officers Benjamin Habershon, Ricky Serrano and William Powell. They acknowledged the support provided by those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Litigation Tech Specialists Paul Howell, William Henderson and Kim Smith; Legal Assistants Diane Brashears, Tammy Scott, and Candice Sisco; Paralegals Teesha Tobias, Candace Battle, and Catherine O’Neal, and Criminal Intelligence Analyst Frank Morgan, all of whom assisted in the investigation.
Finally, they cited the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Nihar Mohanty, who investigated and is prosecuting the case.