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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Role in Drug Trafficking Organization

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Earlier Sentenced to 37-Year Term for Murder

            WASHINGTON – Kelby Gordon, 32, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for distributing narcotics in Washington, D.C.  – a  prison term that he must serve in addition to the 37-year prison term he recently was given in a murder case.  

            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Gordon was found guilty by a jury on Jan. 10, 2019 of unlawful distribution of fentanyl. The verdict followed a trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Trevor N. McFadden. The sentence is to run consecutively to the 37-year prison term that Gordon is serving for a murder in Southeast Washington. In sentencing Gordon, Judge McFadden highlighted the danger of fentanyl abuse to the community; a report by the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner cited fentanyl and its analogs as a key factor in a drastic increase in recent years of overdose deaths in the city.

            The narcotics charge arose from a long-term investigation initiated by the Washington D.C. FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force into the violence and associated narcotics trafficking in the area of Birney Place SE. Gordon and numerous other defendants were indicted in December 2017 for their roles in the operation. A total of 12 people faced charges in the investigation; 10 pled guilty and two, including Gordon, were found guilty of charges at trial.

            The investigation determined that from at least January 2016 through December 2017, the various defendants maintained a drug trafficking organization that supplied distribution amounts of crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin to drug dealers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Much of the activity took place in the Birney Place area of Southeast Washington. In particular, the investigation showed that several of the defendants regularly sold crack cocaine and heroin in the 2600 block of Birney Place SE. 

            According to the government’s evidence, an undercover law enforcement officer met with Gordon during the investigation to purchase heroin. The evidence showed that the substance he actually sold the officer that day was a fentanyl analog.

            Gordon was sentenced on Dec. 14, 2018, to 37 years in prison for killing an innocent bystander and firing into an occupied bedroom during a broad-daylight shooting in Southeast Washington. According to the government’s evidence, on March 24, 2016, at approximately 11:15 a.m., the victim, Gabriel Turner, was walking in a cut-through behind the 2600 block of Birney Place SE, headed to a nearby bus stop. Mr. Turner, 46, who had intellectual disabilities and who was working at the FBI as a janitor, had just finished having breakfast with his mother – as he had every morning. Gordon, meanwhile, was in the area and, after seeing another man pull out a large amount of money, decided to rob that man near the mouth of the cut-through.

            However, as Gordon attempted to rob the man, the man began to pull out his own firearm. Gordon, in his own words, gave the man no chance, and pulled his gun out first. The two men began running down the cut-through behind Mr. Turner.

            Unbeknownst to Mr. Turner, Gordon planted his feet and began firing towards the man, who fled in the same direction that Mr. Turner was walking. The man who Gordon was targeting weaved around Mr. Turner and escaped, but a single bullet struck Mr. Turner in the upper back as he ducked. The bullet lodged itself in Mr. Turner’s sinus – killing him almost instantly. Two other bullets flew into an occupied apartment across the street, just missing the head of a second victim as he returned to bed. 

            In announcing today’s sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Assistant Director in Charge McNamara, and Chief Newsham commended those who investigated the case from the Safe Streets Task Force, including the FBI, MPD, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). They also acknowledged the work of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin L. Rosenberg; Supervisory Paralegal Specialist Mary Downing; Paralegal Specialist Candace Battle, and Legal Assistant Peter Gaboton. They additionally expressed appreciation for the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsey Merikas and Monica Trigoso, who investigated and prosecuted the murder case.

            Finally they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Nihar R. Mohanty, who investigated and prosecuted the narcotics case.


Updated April 4, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 19-46