District Man Sentenced to Thirteen Years in Prison For Leading Narcotics Conspiracy
Operation Sold Cocaine, Cocaine Base, and Heroin in District of Columbia and Maryland
WASHINGTON – Demetrius Muschetta, 33, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a prison term of thirteen years stemming from his leadership role in a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the District of Columbia and Maryland. He is among 16 people to plead guilty following an investigation that led to the seizure of kilograms of narcotics, firearms, and cash.
The sentence was announced by Channing D. Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Rod J. Rosenstein, 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.
Muschetta pled guilty in November 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a kilogram of heroin, 500 grams of cocaine, and 280 grams of cocaine base, and a charge of possession with the intent to distribute a kilogram of heroin. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a prison sentence of 11 to 13 years on each charge, with the sentences to run concurrently. The Honorable Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell accepted the plea today and sentenced the defendant accordingly. Following his prison term, Muschetta will be placed on five years of supervised release. He also must pay a forfeiture judgment of $237,336.
The Government’s evidence established that in January 2015, the FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force began a long-term investigation of a narcotics enterprise involving Muschetta and Myron Williams that primarily focused in the Barnaby Terrace area of Southeast Washington, and extended into Maryland. The investigation revealed that Muschetta and Williams were partners in a drug business and purchased kilogram amounts of cocaine and heroin from multiple sources, including Ricco Johnson and William Winter, and then in turn supplied it to other co-defendants for eventual distribution. According to the government’s evidence, Muschetta exercised decision-making authority by determining the price of the narcotics and controlled the supply of the drugs to other co-conspirators.
In addition to numerous recorded telephone calls and text messages that revealed the role of the narcotics enterprise, law enforcement seized large amounts of narcotics, firearms, and U.S. currency, especially from Muschetta. On May 6, 2015, law enforcement stopped Muschetta in District Heights, Md., and recovered from his vehicle three kilograms of heroin. Later that evening, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Muschetta’s residence in Washington, D.C. and recovered additional kilograms of narcotics, including crack cocaine drying on the windowsill, and three separate firearms in an area where small children resided. During subsequent search warrants of the co-defendants’ residences, law enforcement recovered additional quantities of narcotics, firearms, narcotics paraphernalia, and large amounts of cash.
Over the past 18 months, Chief Judge Howell has also accepted felony pleas from 15 others charged in the case. They include Myron Williams, 40, of Oxon Hill, Md.; Ricco Johnson, 40, of Brandywine, Md., and William Winter, 39, of Suitland, Md. Williams earlier was sentenced to a nine-year prison term for his role in the conspiracy. Johnson and Winter earlier were sentenced to five-year prison terms.
The others who have pled guilty include: Chaka Al-Fatah, 37, of Washington, D.C.; Andre Arrington, 34, of Washington, D.C.; Tijuan Arrington, 40, of Washington, D.C.; Donovan Bostick, 32, of Washington, D.C.; Tamara Davies-Henry, 28, of Oxon Hill, Md.; Donnell Ennels, 41, of Washington, D.C.; Earica Hamilton, 34, of Washington, D.C.; Rodney Jones, 22, of Washington, D.C.; Kyree Mitchell, 20, of Washington, D.C.; Kevin Morris, 43, of Washington, D.C.; Jonathan Taylor, 33, of Washington, D.C., and Don Whitaker, 22, of Washington, D.C.
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 conclusion of the government’s prosecution, U.S. Attorney Phillips, U.S. Attorney Rosenstein, 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.