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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Manager of Southeast Washington Barber Shop Indicted on Firearms and Drug Trafficking Charges

Firearms, Drugs, and Cash Seized by Law Enforcement

            WASHINGTON – Darryl Smith, 44, the self-identified manager of a Southeast Washington barbershop, has been indicted on federal charges stemming from an investigation into alleged drug trafficking at the business and in the surrounding area.

            The charges were announced today by 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, of Washington, D.C., is among three defendants charged with various offenses following the investigation into alleged drug trafficking from the Next Level Cuts barbershop and surrounding property in the 2400 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE. He was arraigned on March 12, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on a superseding indictment filed earlier this month that charges him with firearms and narcotics offenses. He pled not guilty to the charges and remains held pending further court proceedings.

            The indictment includes narcotics and weapons offenses related to Smith’s arrest on Dec. 24, 2017, by the Metropolitan Police Department in the 2400 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE. On that date, he was allegedly in the possession of a loaded firearm and packaged capsules of fentanyl after he fled officers following a drug transaction on the street. Additionally, Smith faces PCP drug trafficking and other charges stemming from a search warrant that was executed on Feb.1, 2018 at the business. During the search, law enforcement recovered three firearms from the barbershop and adjoining property, 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., also was arrested and charged by indictment last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with drug trafficking offenses arising from the Feb. 1, 2018 seizure. He has pled not guilty and also remains held.

            The third defendant, James Venable, 46, of Fort Washington, Md., was indicted last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on narcotics and firearms charges. Venable also is charged by complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland after law enforcement recovered a loaded firearm from his Maryland residence on Feb. 1, 2018. He, too, has pled not guilty and remains held pending further court proceedings.

            The charges in indictments and complaint are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

            In announcing the arrests and indictments, U.S. Attorney Liu, Special Agent in Charge Chittum, and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who are investigating the case. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who are handling the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Macchiaroli.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
18-61
Updated March 13, 2018