District Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Narcotics Charge
WASHINGTON – Edward Magruder, 49, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty yesterday to a federal narcotics charge for the unlawful possession and intent to distribute heroin. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, and Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office.
Magruder pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to the unlawful possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scheduled sentencing for January 10, 2020. The charges against Magruder arose from a law enforcement investigation that showed that he regularly traveled to New York City to obtain large amounts of heroin that he would later redistribute in Washington, D.C.
The investigation began in the summer of 2018. FBI agents learned through their investigation that, between December 2018 and May 31, 2019, Magruder traveled to New York from Washington, D.C. on at least seven separate occasions. On each trip, he stayed in New York for only a short period (a few hours) and then returned to Washington, D.C.
On June 7, 2019, FBI agents learned that Magruder had traveled from Washington, D.C. to New York via Greyhound bus. Agents observed him at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan at approximately 2:30 PM. They also observed him as he stood outside of the bus terminal for approximately one hour and made several calls using a flip phone. Magruder was carrying a bright blue backpack.
The following day, on June 8, 2019, Magruder departed the Port Authority Bus Terminal and began traveling towards Washington, D.C. He arrived at Union Station in Washington, D.C. at approximately 4:30 PM. He walked off the bus carrying the same bright blue backpack that he was observed with in New York. Agents approached Magruder, stopped him, and searched his backpack. At the bottom of the backpack, underneath several items of clothing, were two blocks of compressed tan powder, wrapped in duct tape and several plastic bags. Each block weighed approximately 600 grams. A chemist with the DEA Mid-Atlantic Laboratory examined the blocks. She concluded that together they weighed approximately 1,200 grams (1.2 kilograms), and that they consisted of a mixture and substance containing heroin. The estimated street value of the heroin is approximately $400,000. Sentencing is scheduled for January 16, 2020, and Magruder is expected to be sentenced to a term of 12 to 15 years of imprisonment.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Liu and Special Agent in Charge Dunham commended the work of the FBI agents involved in the arrest and prosecution of Magruder. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Nihar Mohanty of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section, and Paralegal Specialist Candace Battle.