FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 3, 2014
For Information Contact:
Three District Men Plead Guilty to Charges in 2013 Shooting
That Left 13 People Wounded on North Capitol Street
Shots Fired From Two Cars in Drive-By Shootings;
Violence Followed Incident at Nightclub
WASHINGTON – Three men, all from Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to 16 felony charges stemming from their roles in a drive-by shooting on North Capitol Street early March 11, 2013, that injured a total of 13 people, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Andrew D. Allen, 20, Keith D. Bobb, 22, and Arnell L. Smith, 21, pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to 13 counts of assault with intent to kill and one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and tampering with physical evidence. Their plea agreements, which are contingent upon the Court’s approval, call for Allen to be sentenced to 25 years of incarceration and for Bobb and Smith each to be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The Honorable John Ramsey Johnson scheduled sentencing for Oct. 10, 2014.
“Today three men confessed to their active participation in a caravan of carnage that resulted in 13 people being shot on a sidewalk outside an apartment building in Northwest D.C.,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “It is a miracle that no one perished in this senseless drive-by attack on a crowd of innocent people. The young men who plotted and carried out this cowardly assault will now spend decades in prison for their heinous actions.”
“This was a brazen act, in which the defendants fired upon a crowd of people with no regard for who or how many people would be injured,” said Police Chief Lanier. “I applaud the MPD members who investigated and quickly made arrests in this case, so that these criminals will be held accountable.”
According to the government’s evidence, the violence stemmed from a longstanding conflict between rival groups. The defendants, who had ties to a Northeast Washington neighborhood, were engaged in disputes with a group of individuals associated with the Sursum Corda neighborhood near where the shootings occurred, and also with the area near 10th and G Streets NE. Over the years, various violent crimes between members of the two groups were committed. Specifically, soon before the shootings, a dispute took place at the Fur Nightclub.
Allen, Smith, and other individuals were among those at the nightclub late March 10, 2013 and early March 11, 2013, when the dispute took place. Afterward, Allen, Smith, and a third individual met with Bobb and, armed, they traveled in two cars to the Sursum Corda neighborhood in search of retaliation. A fifth individual, not responsible for the shootings, also was in one of the cars.
Shortly after 2 a.m., driving in caravan-style, one car behind the other, they traveled to the 1200 block of North Capitol Street NW, near the Tyler House Apartments, adjacent to the Sursum Corda neighborhood. Smith drove one car, Allen’s black 1999 Mercedes Benz, and Allen fired a Taurus 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, with an extended magazine, from the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Bobb drove the other car, a light blue 1999 Mercedes Benz, close behind Smith and Allen, and his passenger likewise opened fire, using a Glock 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, which also had an extended magazine.
After Allen began to shoot, some individuals, using .40-caliber semi-automatic firearms, shot back at the two cars. The defendants fled the area at a high rate of speed, turning right on H Street NW and running a red light. Red light cameras at the intersection of North Capitol and H Streets NW photographed the license tags of both cars.
On the afternoon of March 11, 2013, Allen grew concerned and agitated about televised news accounts of the shootings. The newscasts had footage from the crime scene in which Allen could recognize his car. He decided that he needed to “torch” his vehicle, which had been damaged by gunfire, because it could be identified by law enforcement. He and other defendants headed to the 3000 block of Stanton Road SE, where the vehicle was set on fire to devalue or destroy it as evidence. Following a series of 9-1-1 calls reporting the blaze, District of Columbia emergency personnel responded to the burning car. The remains of the car were seized by law enforcement, and evidence was recovered that later tied the vehicle to Allen’s family.
In the late afternoon of March 11, 2013, after the car had been destroyed, Allen, Bobb, and Smith resolved to get rid of the guns used in the shootings on North Capitol Street. The three received a ride to an apartment complex in Northeast, Washington, D.C. There, Allen and Bobb met with another individual and traded away the Taurus and Glock pistols used in the North Capitol Street shootings in return for two Ruger semi-automatic pistols.
The defendants have been in custody since their arrests in 2013.
In announcing the pleas, U.S. Attorney Machen and Chief Lanier commended the work of the detectives, mobile crime scene officers, intelligence officers, and others who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Christopher Brophy, Tommy Miller, Derek Starliper, Durand Odom, Steve Cohen, Melissa Matthews, Mark Crawford, John Marsh, Nelson Rhone, Juan Juarez, and Matthew Kutz, all of the Criminal Investigation Unit; Jelahn Stewart, Michael Hailey, Wanda Queen, Jennifer Clark, and James Brennan, all of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit; former Victim/Witness Advocate Kristina Rose, and Paralegal Specialist Debra Joyner. They also commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Flynn and Jocelyn Ballantine, and former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas A. Bednar and James E. Smith, who assisted in the investigation.
Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Brittin, who is prosecuting the case.14-159