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Press Release

D.C. Felon Sentenced to 115 Months for Firearms Offenses and Distribution of PCP and ‘Boot’

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Brandished a Weapon in a Fight, Led Police on a Foot Chase

            WASHINGTON – James Fitzgerald Honesty, 35, of Washington D.C., was sentenced today to 115 months in prison for a May 2022 incident that involved a police foot chase resulting in the recovery of a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine, and large quantities of drugs that included PCP and two varieties of “boot,” a designer synthetic stimulant, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Pamela A. Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Honesty pleaded guilty on September 2, 2023, in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia to unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a person convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. He also pleaded to unlawful possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of Phencyclidine (PCP). In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Trevor N. McFadden ordered Honesty to serve five years of supervised release following his incarceration.

            This conviction, Honesty’s fifth involving a gun and his third for possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, involved a flight from officers and abandonment of a loaded gun and dangerous controlled substances on a public sidewalk in a residential neighborhood in Southeast -- less than 1,000 feet from an elementary school. Two separate 911 callers alerted police to his possession of a gun, one of which said that he used it in a fight.

            According to court documents, on May 23, 2022, MPD received a call at 6:25 p.m. reporting an altercation on the 2500 block of Ainger Place SE, and that “one of the guys pulled out a gun.” Another caller reported a man with a weapon, saying, “[h]e right here. He pulled out a gun on my boyfriend, threatened to kill him.” Several MPD squad cars responded. Officers in separate patrol cars spotted Honesty. After making eye contact with one of the officers, Honesty took off running.

            With three officers in pursuit, Honesty reached for his waistband, produced a firearm and dropped it to the ground. The foot chase continued as he rounded a corner. Honesty dropped a black satchel to the ground shortly before police caught him. An officer recovered the gun -- a Springfield Armory 9mm semi-automatic loaded with 21 rounds in an extended magazine and one round in the chamber -- in the path of the Honesty’s flight. Another officer found the satchel bag which contained nearly 24 grams of liquid Phencyclidine aka PCP, 32 grams of a white powder, determined to be N, N-Dimethylpentylone, and brown rock-like substance later determined to be N-Propylbutylone.  Both substances are considered to be varieties of “boot,” which is a designer synthetic stimulant that is typically sold as a cheaper alternative to Ecstasy or MDMA (sometimes referred to as “Molly”).

            Honesty has been detained since his arrest on March 23, 2022.

            This case was investigated by the MPD. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin F. Song, Meredith Mayer-Dempsey, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Cloherty and former Special Assistant United States Attorney Kristina Cervi.      

Updated March 11, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-234