Eleven People Arrested in Federal Drug and Firearms Case Involving Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Other Drugs
Arrests Follow Six-Month Investigation; Drugs and Guns Seized
WASHINGTON – Eleven people have been arrested following their indictments on federal charges stemming from an investigation into a drug trafficking network based in Southeast Washington that sold cocaine, crack cocaine, Fentanyl, PCP, and other drugs.
The indictments were made public this week and announced today by Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division Robert Bornstein, and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Most of the defendants were arrested by the FBI and MPD on Monday, July 19; all 11 remain in custody. A 12th individual was arrested on related charges. The arrests followed an extensive investigation into a ring that was primarily based in the areas of Martin Luther King Jr., Avenue SE, Mellon Street SE, and Malcolm X Avenue SE, in the Seventh Police District.
A total of 10 firearms have been seized during the investigation, along with PCP, crack, powder cocaine, heroin, pills, and over $2,500 in cash.
“This investigation is part of a broader effort to target violence, drug trafficking, and the possession of illegal firearms in the District of Columbia,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips. “This work is critically important to protecting those who live and work in our community. The arrests reflect the coordination taking place at the federal and local levels every day.”
“The FBI’s Washington Field Office is engaged and working on a daily basis in partnership with MPD and other law enforcement agencies to reduce violent crime in the District of Columbia,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Bornstein. “This joint partnership with MPD’s Violence Reduction Unit is producing significant results, as demonstrated by the arrests and indictment being announced today. The FBI is committed to continuing to work aggressively to seek justice for those affected by violent crime and prevent additional innocent citizens from becoming victims.”
“Through the focused coordination and intense collaboration of MPD’s Violence Reduction Unit and our law enforcement partners, we are determined to remove the District’s most violent offenders from our streets,” stated MPD Chief Contee. “As alleged in the indictment, these individuals are responsible for many of the drug transactions in our neighborhoods and this is one step closer to making our communities safer for all.”
Those named in the indictment include: Delonta Chappell, 34; Dezmond Cunningham, 27; Anthony Graves, 30; Nico Griffin, 31; Wesley Leake, 31; Leon Linsday, 36; Kevonte Randall, 24; Barry Tyson, 21, and Shawn Wooden, 39, all of Washington, D.C.; Deshawn Loggins, 20, of Temple Hills, Md., and Ricky Lyles, 41, of Accokeek, Md. The 12th individual, Corenzo Mobery, 39, of Washington, D.C., was indicted on related drug and firearms charges.
The prosecutions followed a joint investigation by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Cross Border Safe Streets Task Force in partnership with MPD’s Narcotics and Special Investigations (NSID) Violence Reduction Unit. This partnership targets the most egregious and violent street crews operating in the District of Columbia. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Park Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Henek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
The investigation had the sponsorship and support of the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF specializes in the investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.