Skip to main content
Press Release

Justice Department Announces Multiple Drug and Firearms Arrests

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Arrests Part of Justice Department’s Surge in Resources to Fight Violent Crime in Washington, D.C.

The Justice Department today announced a multi-agency law enforcement action, targeting armed drug trafficking networks in Washington, D.C., which resulted in 24 arrests in the past nine days. This action follows a surge in additional law enforcement tools and resources announced in January by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to fight violent crime in Washington, D.C.

“In January, the Justice Department surged law enforcement resources to the District of Columbia to further our efforts to target the individuals and organizations driving violent crime in the nation’s capital,” said Attorney General Garland. “Over the past nine days, as a result of a multi-agency investigation, we have arrested 24 individuals we allege have fueled drug trafficking and community violence in Washington, D.C. The Department will continue to leverage our partnerships, our resources, and our investigative and prosecutorial tools to reduce violent crime and keep communities safe.”

“The FBI will remain relentless in the pursuit of those who attempt to make money by selling fentanyl and other deadly drugs in our communities,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “We are firmly committed to working with all of our partners and using all tools available to curb the violence impacting the American people – here in Washington, D.C., and across the country.”

Nine defendants were arrested today in connection with a Trinidad-based drug trafficking investigation. Three of the defendants arrested today are charged in a 13-count indictment alleging a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, crack cocaine, and heroin and several firearms offenses. Two additional defendants arrested today are charged in a separate multiple-count indictment on fentanyl and fentanyl analogue distribution and firearms charges. These arrests follow another law enforcement action last week, in which 15 people were arrested, 10 of whom are named in a 17-count indictment as alleged members of a drug trafficking crew operating near 21st Street and Maryland Avenue, NE, and who are charged with participation in a fentanyl and cocaine distribution conspiracy and additional firearms counts.

Today’s arrests grew out of an investigation into an open-air drug market around the 1100 block of Raum Street, NE, in the Trinidad neighborhood that was commenced in summer 2023 in response to 59 violent crime incidents and 119 bursts of gunfire occurring in the area from January to July 2023. Agents conducted numerous controlled buys of fentanyl, fentanyl analogue, cocaine base, and firearms in connection with this investigation.

During the investigation, multiple search warrants were executed at several locations. Law enforcement executed 14 residential search warrants today in connection with the Trinidad investigation in the District and Maryland and seized 15 firearms, large amounts of ammunition, and alleged drug proceeds as part of the operation. At least three of the five defendants arrested today have been indicted on firearms charges, including possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. 

“As alleged in the indictments, the defendants sold fentanyl and other dangerous drugs on the streets of Washington, D.C. Some of them also carried guns,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “When armed drug dealers sell deadly drugs like fentanyl, they make our communities more dangerous places to live and work. Today’s arrests reflect the Criminal Division’s commitment to working with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and our law enforcement partners to protect our neighborhoods from armed drug dealers and other dangerous offenders.”

“The data tells us that a relatively small group of people in our community are the primary drivers of gun violence and that the bulk of the gun violence is clustered in a relatively few blocks of our city,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia. “For years, we and our law enforcement partners have been focused on developing effective strategies for how we can best build cases against these relatively few people driving violence because we know that proactively removing these people from our streets is the most significant thing we can do as prosecutors to impact violent crime trends.”

“Street-level drug traffickers are directly responsible for extreme violence and devastating drug poisonings in communities across the country,” said Administrator Anne Milgram of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). “The individuals charged today are alleged members of one of the most violent criminal groups in Washington, D.C., perpetrating countless acts of violence and selling deadly fentanyl. The excellent investigative work by the DEA’s Washington Field Division, and our partners, has made this community safer. These arrests are a warning to all criminals peddling poison on American streets that the DEA will use every available resource to save lives.”

“Today's arrests show that the partnerships among federal and local law enforcement agencies are stronger than the illicit ties among members of drug trafficking organizations,” said Special Agent in Charge David J. Scott of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division. "The FBI vows to continue to work with our partners to protect communities from violent crews who peddle drugs and wield illegal firearms.”

“Many Washingtonians have raised concerns about local drug trafficking crews that have been taking over their neighborhoods through violence and the distribution of fentanyl and other illegal drugs,” said Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the DEA Washington Division. “Drug trafficking and violence are undeniably connected, and we are addressing this issue directly by taking a strong stance and implementing strict measures to combat the illegal manufacture and distribution of drugs, as well as removing firearms from the streets. Whether it's through increased law enforcement efforts, educational programs, or providing support for those struggling with substance misuse, we are confronting this problem head-on to restore the communities to the residents.”

“The success of these operations would not have been possible without the collaboration, dedication, and support of the officers, investigators, and detectives of the Metropolitan Police Department, our federal partners at the FBI and DEA, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The unwavering commitment to upholding the law and protecting our communities is truly commendable,” said Executive Assistant Chief Jeffery Carroll of the Metropolitan Police Department. “To those who continue to engage in violent crimes, drug sales and the illegal possession and use of firearms: let this serve as a clear message. Your actions bring tremendous harm to our communities, and they will not be tolerated. Operations like these will continue, our investigations are ongoing, and our resolve is steadfast.”

The Trinidad fentanyl trafficking investigation was a multi-agency effort between the DEA’s Washington Division, Metropolitan Police Department, and FBI Washington Field Office’s Violent Crimes Task Force. Trial Attorney Gerald A. A. Collins of the Criminal Division’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section (VCRS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nihar Mohanty for the District of Columbia are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance was provided by VCRS Trial Attorneys Christina Taylor and Gaelin Bernstein.

The Carver-Langston fentanyl trafficking investigation was a multi-agency effort between the Metropolitan Police Department, FBI Washington Field Office’s Cross-Border Task Force, DEA’s Washington Division, and Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrea Duvall and Solomon Eppel for the District of Columbia are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated May 23, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-663