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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 16, 2022

District Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Distribution, Which Resulted in Death of Consumer from Virginia

Defendant Distributed Drug From Residence in Northeast Washington

            WASHINGTON – Andrew Cooper, 47, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to a federal charge of distribution of Fentanyl, admitting that he distributed the drug to customers from his residence in Northeast Washington. In the statement of facts in support of the plea agreement, Cooper admitted that he distributed Fentanyl to a female and her male friend, and that the male friend subsequently died from consuming the Fentanyl that Cooper provided.

            Cooper also admitted that he distributed approximately 30 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of Fentanyl to an undercover law enforcement officer over five separate transactions.

            The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division, Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division Office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Kevin Davis, Chief of the Fairfax County, Va. Police Department.

            Cooper pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He is to be sentenced on Jan. 27, 2023, by the Honorable Amit P. Mehta. Under federal sentencing guidelines, he faces a likely range of 235-240 months in prison.

            As part of his plea agreement, Cooper acknowledged distributing Fentanyl from his residence in the 1900 block of Capitol Avenue NE, in the Ivy City neighborhood, from February to November of 2021.  On multiple occasions, from Feb. 11 to Feb. 16, 2021, he distributed Fentanyl to the female and her male friend, who then traveled to Virginia to consume the drug. On Feb. 16, 2021, the woman came to Cooper’s residence alone. Upon her return to Virginia, she discovered her male friend dead from an apparent overdose. He was in a bathroom, with a syringe containing Fentanyl nearby.

            Cooper was initially indicted in November 2021, after law enforcement completed five separate undercover purchases from August to October 2021. When Cooper was arrested on Nov. 10, 2021, law enforcement also executed a search warrant on his residence and recovered $74,430, which were proceeds from Cooper’s narcotics sales, a firearm, and additional narcotics, including Fentanyl. After gathering additional evidence, law enforcement was able to determine that Cooper’s Fentanyl distribution dated back until at least February 2021 and that his distribution resulted in the death of a male victim on Feb. 16, 2021.

            As part of its investigation, law enforcement also determined that Cooper maintained a bank account where he kept additional proceeds from his drug trafficking activities and obtained a seizure warrant, resulting in the seizure of an additional $32,650. As part of his plea agreement, Cooper acknowledged that the $74,430 seized from his home and the $32,650 seized from his bank account were drug proceeds and agreed to forfeit the money to the government.

            This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the DEA Washington Division, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Fairfax County, Va. Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David T. Henek and Solomon Eppel, of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
22-300
Updated September 16, 2022