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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Conspiracy that Distributed Hundreds of Thousands of Doses in the District

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – Columbian Thomas, 26, of Washington D.C., pleaded guilty to participating in a wide-spread narcotics trafficking conspiracy that distributed hundreds of thousands of fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pills purchased in Southern California to destinations throughout the United States, including the District of Columbia.

            The plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, DEA Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the DEA Washington Division, Acting Inspector in Charge Ajay Lall of the US Postal Inspection Service Washington Division, FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Scott of the Washington Field Office Criminal and Cyber Division, and Chief Pamela A. Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department.

            Thomas, aka “Cruddy Murda,” pleaded guilty on May 30 to a charge of conspiring to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scheduled sentencing for October 22, 2024.

            According to the statement of offense in support of the plea agreement, Thomas entered into the conspiracy after he was introduced to a Los Angeles-based drug trafficker, who was a distributor of fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pills. Thomas would travel to Southern California to purchase the fake oxycodone pills from the L.A. supplier and return to the District with the drugs.

            Thomas and his co-conspirators employed two primary methods to transport the fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pills to the District: they smuggled the pills concealed in luggage or carry-on items on commercial airline flights, or they shipped the pills using commercial mail carriers.

            On June 2, 2023, the date of his arrest, law enforcement found Thomas in the bedroom of his home and recovered a baggie containing about 100 blue M-30 fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pills, along with a loaded Glock 21 Gen4 pistol that had been equipped with a “giggle switch” that converted the handgun in a fully automatic machine gun.

            The investigation was launched by the DEA after a young woman in Washington, D.C., Diamond Lynch, took one pill and died almost immediately. Twenty-eight defendants have been charged to date as a result of the investigation, and law enforcement have seized more than 450,000 fentanyl pills, 1.5 kilograms of fentanyl powder, and 30 firearms.

            By statute, Thomas is eligible for a prison sentence of up to life in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment to be imposed. A federal judge will determine the sentence based on guidelines established by Congress.

            The investigation was conducted by the DEA Washington Division and the US Postal Inspection Service, in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), with additional support from the DEA Los Angeles, San Diego, and Riverside Field Offices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office, and the Charles County, Maryland Sheriff’s Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Central and Southern Districts of California, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the District of Maryland.

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew W. Kinskey, Solomon S. Eppel, and Iris McCranie of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses (VRTO) Section. Valuable assistance was provided by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy T. Wang.



Updated June 4, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-484