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Press Release

District of Columbia Man Sentenced to 80 Months in Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics and Use Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Served as a Leader of a “Street Crew” in Southeast Washington

            WASHINGTON – Niko Culbreth, 29, of Washington D.C. was sentenced today to.80 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).

            Culbreth 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.

            Culbreth, who utilized the street nicknames “Cucuz” and “Slick,” pleaded guilty on Nov. 1, 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, Culbreth admitted to participating in a separate conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms and to serving in a leadership role of both conspiracies. Culbreth was sentenced by the Honorable Amy Berman Jackson.  Following completion of his prison term, Culbreth will be placed on four years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, beginning in approximately June 2018, and continuing through September 2020, Culbreth 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, Culbreth not only served as the primary wholesaler of narcotics to his co-conspirators, but he encouraged his co-conspirators to pool their money and buy as many firearms as possible for use in defending their territory. Culbreth further encouraged his co-conspirators to always carry and use firearms in furtherance of the conspiracy.

            Culbreth was arrested on Sept. 2, 2020. 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 United States Attorney Christopher Berridge.


Updated March 4, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 22-51