FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
For Information Contact:
Three Men Found Guilty of Conspiring to Distribute Heroin
In the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area
-Defendants Conspired to Bring Shipments Here from New York-
WASHINGTON – Three men were found guilty by a jury today of conspiring to distribute large quantities of heroin in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. They were among those arrested in 2012, following a nine-month investigation by law enforcement.
The verdicts were announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Thaxton Young, Jr., 46, of Columbia, Md.; Gerry Duane Burnett, 42, of Washington, D.C., and Jesse McLester Young, Jr., 42, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., were found guilty following a three-week trial in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Burnett was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana.
The Honorable Beryl A. Howell set sentencing for Aug. 2, 2013. Each defendant faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a potential life sentence.
Thaxton Young, Jr., Burnett and Jesse Young were indicted in 2012, following an investigation by the DEA into people suspected of acting as wholesale distributors of heroin in the metropolitan area. The investigation determined that from May 2011 through March 2012, the defendants and others maintained a drug trafficking organization that supplied distribution amounts of heroin to dealers in the District of Columbia and Maryland.
The investigation revealed that Thaxton Young, Jr. and another conspirator obtained large quantities of heroin from his cousin and co-defendant Jesse Young in the Bronx, New York area, which they transported back to the Washington, D.C. area for redistribution to wholesale traffickers, including Burnett.
Investigators seized over 170 grams of heroin during the investigation, along with over $7,000 in cash, along with jewelry valued at over $25,000.
“These defendants' commitment to flooding our community with narcotics was outmatched by law enforcement's commitment to protecting our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. "Swift, coordinated action by DEA, MPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office kept these three men from poisoning our city with heroin. I want to commend the investigators and prosecutors who have worked so hard to make sure these drug dealers pay a steep price for their crimes. With these criminals behind bars, the District is today a safer and healthier place."
In announcing the verdicts, U.S. Attorney Machen, Special Agent in Charge Colder, and Chief Lanier commended the work of the agents, officers and investigators from the DEA and MPD who investigated the case. They also thanked the Maryland State Police, which provided assistance. They cited the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Paralegal Specialists Jeremy Stoller and Regan Gibson, and Litigation Support Specialist Joshua Ellen.
Finally, they acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Opher Shweiki, Steven B. Wasserman and Magdalena Acevedo of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section, who are prosecuting the case.