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Friday, February 24, 2012

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Repeat Offender Sentenced to More Than 19 Years in Prison
For Selling PCP in Northwest Washington
- Defendant Has Eight Convictions or Adjudications -

     WASHINGTON - Dante Sheffield, 31, was sentenced today to a prison term of 19 years and two months for the possession with intent to sell phencyclidine, or PCP, after he was deemed a career offender based on his history of arrests and convictions, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced

     Sheffield was convicted by a jury of the charge in December 2011, following a trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Beryl A. Howell, who described him as a “menace” who has failed to accept responsibility for the consequences of his actions involving PCP. Upon completion of his prison term, Sheffield will be placed on eight years of supervised release. He also must complete drug treatment.

     The case arose from a traffic stop conducted by members of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Narcotics Special Investigations Division on June 8, 2011 in the 2300 block of 11th Street NW. During a stop of a car, in which Sheffield was the front-seat passenger, officers smelled marijuana. In a subsequent search of the vehicle, they discovered almost 200 grams of PCP hidden in a lemon juice bottle in the center console. This amount of PCP has a street value of more than $8,000 and can serve hundreds of addicts. Although two others were in the vehicle with Sheffield, at the time of the stop he stated that everything in the car was his.

     PCP is among the most dangerous illegal drugs sold in the District of Columbia. At the time of arrest, Sheffield had been out of jail less than a month. He had been incarcerated from approximately the end of May 2010 until May 2011 following a revocation of his probation.

     Judge Howell sentenced Sheffield as a career offender based on his history of criminal arrests and convictions. In fact, this case represented Sheffield’s eighth conviction or adjudication. Sheffield had previously been convicted of a similar offense in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and had been incarcerated as a result of that conviction. In addition, as part of an earlier and unrelated MPD investigation, Sheffield had admitted to selling PCP “dippers” in the Garfield Terrace neighborhood of Northwest Washington for a decade.

     “This PCP dealer has spent his entire adult life flouting the law,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “The only thing that has stopped his crimes is incarceration. Today’s 19-year sentence will take this offender off the streets and put an end to his one-man crime spree.”

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen expressed his appreciation to the Metropolitan Police Department, and particularly praised the work of Detectives Michael Iannacchione, Christopher Smith, and Lorenzo James, as well as Officer Joseph Abdulla. U.S. Attorney Machen also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service for its assistance at trial. He commended the work of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Candace Battle and Legal Assistant Diane Brashears. Finally, he commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angela George and Vincent Caputy, who investigated and indicted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Carlton and Jack Geise, who prosecuted the case at trial.





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