District of Columbia Man Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison For Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics and Use Firearms
Defendant Admitted to Committing Violence on Behalf of a “Street Crew” in Southeast Washington
WASHINGTON – Andre Nickens, 22, of Washington D.C., was sentenced today to 70 months in federal prison for his role in an ongoing conspiracy to distribute narcotics and a related conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, and Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Nickens is one of more than a dozen individuals arrested as part of a joint FBI/ATF investigation which resulted in the seizure of more than 34 pounds of marijuana, 16 firearms, and more than $270,000 in cash.
Nickens, who used the street nickname “Dreco,” pleaded guilty in November 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, as well as oxycodone and codeine. As part of his plea agreement, Nickens admitted to participating in a separate conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms and to serving in a leadership role of both conspiracies. He was sentenced by the Honorable Amy Berman Jackson. Following his prison term, Nickens will be placed on four years of supervised release.
According to the government’s evidence, beginning in approximately June 2018, and continuing through April 2021, Nickens and his co-conspirators maintained drug-dealing territory on Trenton Place SE in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. – a territory they defended by carrying, and discharging, firearms at perceived rivals. As part of his role in the conspiracy, Nickens distributed narcotics in street-level transactions and served as an armed defender of the co-conspirators’ drug-dealing territory. Nickens encouraged his co-conspirators to pool their money and buy as many firearms as possible for use in defending their territory, and admitted to having participated in shootings in defense of the co-conspirators’ territory.
Nickens was arrested on April 22, 2021. He has been detained ever since.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Special Agent in Charge Patterson commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI and ATF. They also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Genevieve de Guzman, Kim Hall, and Teesha Tobias. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney James B. Nelson, who investigated and prosecuted the case, with help from Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin Vaillancourt and former Assistant U.S Attorney Christopher Berridge.