Superseding Indictment Adds 13 Defendants to Fentanyl Distribution Conspiracy Spanning From California to D.C.
WASHINGTON – Andrew Cooper, 47, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 16 years in prison for distribution of Fentanyl. Cooper pleaded guilty on September 16, 2022, admitting that he distributed the drug to customers from his residence in Northeast Washington, including to a male who subsequently died from consuming the Fentanyl that Cooper provided.
The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget, of the Washington Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Chief Kevin Davis, of the Fairfax County, Va. Police Department, Acting Special Agent in Charge Sarah Linden of the FBI Washington Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division, and Interim Chief Ashan Benedict, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Cooper had 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. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta ordered 36 months of supervised release.
“This sentence reflects the serious consequences awaiting anyone who callously litters our communities with Fentanyl,” said US Attorney Graves. “Anyone considering peddling this poison needs to understand that they are likely to cause someone’s death, and that they will be held accountable for that death.”
“Mr. Cooper profited by selling dangerous and deadly drugs such as fentanyl into our neighborhoods and disregarding the value of human life,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Forget. “Today’s sentence emphasizes our commitment to the tireless work of investigating and prosecuting those responsible for fueling addiction and the deadly poisonings in our area.”
According to court documents, 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. The cause of death was determined to be acute fentanyl intoxication.
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 DEA Washington Division, the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and the Metropolitan 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.