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Justice News

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

District Man Sentenced to 80 Months in Prison on Charges Involving Open Drug Market from D.C. Barbershop

Firearms, Drugs, and Cash Seized by Law Enforcement

            WASHINGTON – Darryl Smith, 41, the manager of a Southeast Washington barbershop, was sentenced today to 80 months in prison on federal narcotics and firearms offenses stemming from an investigation into drug trafficking at the business and surrounding area, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Thomas L. Chittum III, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Smith pled guilty in May 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and one count of possession with the intent to distribute PCP. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for an 80-month prison term, to be followed by five years of supervised release. The Honorable Judge Amit P. Mehta accepted the plea and sentenced Smith accordingly.

            The charges against Smith stemmed from two separate arrests in the 2400 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE, where Smith managed the Next Level Cuts barbershop that was used by multiple individuals to traffic narcotics.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Dec. 24, 2017, Smith was arrested by MPD while in the possession of a loaded firearm and packaged capsules of fentanyl after he fled officers following a drug transaction on the street. Smith was also arrested on additional charges following a search warrant executed at the barbershop and surrounding property on Feb. 1, 2018. In addition to recovering three firearms from the barbershop and adjoining property, law enforcement seized more than $7,000 in cash, more than 800 grams of PCP, more than 300 grams of heroin, and boxes of Suboxone strips.  

            Anthony Fields, 44, of Washington, D.C., was also arrested and charged by indictment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with drug trafficking offenses arising from the Feb. 1, 2018 seizure; he faces trial in November 2018. James Venable, 40, of Fort Washington, Md., pled guilty on Aug. 10, 2018, to narcotics and firearms charges stemming from his commission of two separate drug trafficking offenses while in the possession of loaded firearms. Venable’s sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 16, 2018.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Special Agent in Charge Chittum, and Chief Newsham commended the work of those involved in the case. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who are handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Macchiaroli and Paralegal Specialist Candace Battle.

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
Updated August 15, 2018