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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 9, 2018

District Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Offense Following Arrest During Traffic Stop in Northeast Washington

Defendant Caught With Plastic Bags Containing Significant Amounts of Cocaine Base

            WASHINGTON – Manulito Chambliss, 47, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a federal drug offense after a traffic stop by police for a broken headlight led to the discovery of cocaine in the car that he was driving, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Chambliss pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of unlawful possession with intent to distribute cocaine base. The plea, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for an agreed-upon sentence of five years in prison. The Honorable Thomas F. Hogan scheduled a sentencing hearing for Sept. 13, 2018. The judge ordered that Chambliss be detained pending the hearing.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Dec. 23, 2017, at approximately 7 p.m., MPD officers on patrol in the 200 block of 19th Street SE spotted a silver Infiniti that had only one headlight running. Officers lost sight of the vehicle, but then located it nearby, stopped in the 1700 block of Bay Street SE. Chambliss, who was alone in the vehicle, began to drive it. Using lights and sirens, officers tried to pull Chambliss over, but he did not stop and kept driving off. Eventually Chambliss became stuck in traffic in the 1500 block of Benning Road NE and came to a stop. After officers removed him from the driver’s seat, they found 346 small zip lock bags, containing 44 grams of cocaine base, on the driver’s seat and on Chambliss’s person.

            The case marks the fourth time that Chambliss has been convicted in the District of Columbia of a felony drug offense.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the work of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys C.B. Buente and Vincent W. Caputy, who are prosecuting the matter.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
18-205
Updated August 10, 2018