District Man Sentenced to Seven-Year Prison Term On Federal Firearms Charge
Defendant Among 16 People to Plead Guilty Following Investigation of Drug Ring
WASHINGTON – Chaka Al-Fatah, 37, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to seven years in prison for a federal firearms charge related to a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the District of Columbia and Maryland. He was among 16 people to plead guilty following an investigation that led to the seizure of kilograms of narcotics, firearms, and cash.
The announcement was made by Channing D. Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Stephen M. Schenning, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland; Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Peter Newsham, Acting Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Henry P. Stawinski III, Chief of the Prince George’s County, Md. Police Department; Robert D. MacLean, Chief of the United States Park Police, and Robert Turner, Acting U.S. Marshal for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Al-Fatah pled guilty in February 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a narcotics trafficking offense. The plea agreement, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentence of five to eight years in prison. The Honorable Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell accepted the plea agreement today and sentenced Al-Fatah accordingly. Following his prison term, Al-Fatah will be placed on five years of supervised release. He also must pay a forfeiture money judgment of $5,290.
Over the past 20 months, Chief Judge Howell has also accepted felony pleas from 15 others charged in the case. In March, she sentenced a leader of the conspiracy, Demetrius Muschetta, 33, of Washington, D.C., to a 13-year prison term. Last November, another leader of the group, Myron Williams, 40, of Oxon Hill, Md., was sentenced to a nine-year prison term.
As established through the defendants’ guilty pleas, in January 2015, the FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force began a long-term investigation into a narcotics enterprise involving Muschetta and Williams, that primarily focused in the Barnaby Terrace area of Southeast Washington and extended into Maryland.
The investigation revealed that Williams and Muschetta were partners in a drug business and purchased kilogram amounts of cocaine and heroin from multiple sources, and then in turn supplied it to other co-defendants for eventual distribution. According to the government’s evidence, Al-Fatah had narcotics dealings with Muschetta and Williams, which included the selling of narcotics to customers referred to him by Muschetta. He also engaged in phone calls regarding the acquisition of firearms. At the time of his arrest, in June 2015, law enforcement recovered a firearm and narcotics at Al-Fatah’s residence.
The 16 defendants were arrested after months of investigation by the FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of agents from the FBI, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the United States Park Police, and the United States Marshals Service. The Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force sponsored and supported this complex investigation
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Acting U.S. Attorney Schenning, Assistant Director in Charge Vale, Acting Chief Newsham, Chief Stawinski, Chief MacLean, and Acting Marshal Turner commended the work of the D.C. Safe Streets Task Force.
They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Scarpelli and Christopher Macchiaroli of the Violent Crimes and Narcotics Trafficking Section; Assistant U.S. Attorney Zia Faruqui and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Bateman of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; former Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Han and Todd Gee; Paralegal Specialists Candace Battle, Mary Downing, Teesha Tobias, Catherine O’Neal, and Toni Anne Donato, and Legal Assistants Brendan Coyne, Diane Brashears, and Latoya Wade. They also commended those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland including Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Sullivan, who prosecuted the Maryland portion of Muschetta’s narcotics seizure prior to the charges being transferred to Washington, D.C. for resolution before Chief Judge Howell.