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WASHINGTON – Edward Magruder, 51, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 15 years in prison on a federal drug charge stemming from his travels to New York to obtain large amounts of heroin that he would later redistribute in the Washington, D.C. area.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division.
Magruder pleaded guilty in October 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to a charge of unlawful possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for an agreed-upon prison sentence of 12 to 15 years, followed by five years of supervised release. The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly accepted the plea and sentenced Magruder accordingly.
The investigation began in the summer of 2018. FBI agents received information that Magruder would travel to New York to acquire narcotics and then return to Washington, D.C. In particular, FBI agents learned through their investigation that, between December 2018 and May 31, 2019, Margruder 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 of time – generally, 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 traveled to New York to conduct surveillance. They observed him at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan at approximately 2:30 p.m. Agents observed him as he stood outside of the bus terminal for approximately an 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 p.m. He walked off the bus carrying the same bright blue backpack. 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 U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (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 $100,000.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Special Agent in Charge Jacobs commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Nihar Mohanty, of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses Section, and Paralegal Specialist Candace Battle.