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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Distribution of Cocaine Base

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

           Devierre Cheppell, 28, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to the unlawful distribution of cocaine base, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Steven A. Sund, Chief of the United States Capitol Police.

           Cheppell, who is designated a career offender due to his prior drug-related convictions, pled guilty before the Honorable Reggie B. Walton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of unlawful distribution of cocaine base. Cheppell faces 75 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release and a fine up to $1,000,000 if a plea agreement is reached with the Government and accepted by the Court. As part of his plea, Cheppell accepted responsibility for possessing with intent to distribute 31.3 grams of cocaine base. Cheppell’s conviction will represent his third cocaine-related conviction. Judge Walton scheduled Cheppell’s sentencing for October 17, 2019.

           According to the Government’s evidence, on October 1, 2018, members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) First District Crime Suppression Team observed what appeared to be a hand-to-hand transaction between Cheppell and another individual. Cheppell handed the object to the man who then walked into a nearby alley near 35 E Street, N.W. Officers located the man in the alley and observed him in the process of smoking crack cocaine. Meanwhile, after the hand-to-hand transaction, Cheppell was observed riding his bicycle northbound into the 500 block of New Jersey Avenue, N.W. When asked to stop, Cheppell abandoned his bicycle and fled, running alongside the area of the Washington Court Hotel located at 525 New Jersey Avenue, N.W. He was apprehended and admitted to possessing cocaine inside of his undergarments. A search revealed the cocaine and 148 plastic zips containing a white rock-like substance, later determined to be 23.96 grams of cocaine base.

           Cheppell was released on his personal recognizance under the supervision of pretrial services at presentment in D.C. Superior Court. Less than one month later, he was arrested again. On November 13, 2018, Cheppell was observed by United States Capitol Police officers driving a blue Infiniti sports utility vehicle in the area of G Street N.W. A traffic stop by the officers resulted in the recovery of 101 baggies containing a total of 7.34 grams of cocaine base, and $1,117.00 in U.S. currency from Cheppell. 

           In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the assistance provided by our joint law enforcement partners. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nurudeen Elias and Mervin A. Bourne, Jr. of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section.

Updated July 23, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-120