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Press Release

Manager of Southeast Washington Barbershop Pleads Guilty to Federal Narcotics and Firearms Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Arrested After Investigation Into Open Drug Market

            WASHINGTON – Darryl Smith, 41, the manager of a Southeast Washington barbershop, pled guilty today to federal narcotics and firearms offenses stemming from an investigation into drug trafficking at the business and surrounding area.

            The announcement was made 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 pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and one count of possession with the intent to distribute PCP. The plea agreement, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for a sentence of 80 months of incarceration, to be followed by five years of supervised release. The Honorable Amit P. Mehta scheduled sentencing for Aug. 15, 2018.

            On Dec. 24, 2017, Smith was arrested by MPD while in the possession of a loaded firearm and packaged capsules of fentanyl after he fled officers following a drug transaction in the 2400 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE, where the Next Level Cuts barbershop is located. Smith also was arrested following a search warrant executed at the barbershop and surrounding property on Feb. 1, 2018. In addition to recovering three firearms from the barbershop and adjoining property, law enforcement seized more than $7,000 in cash, more than 800 grams of PCP, more than 300 grams of heroin, and boxes of Suboxone strips.  

            Smith, of Washington, D.C., was indicted on federal charges in February 2018.

            Two co-defendants are still facing charges. Anthony Fields, 44, of Washington, D.C., was indicted for drug trafficking offenses arising from the Feb. 1, 2018 seizure. James Venable, 46, of Fort Washington, Md., was indicted on narcotics and firearms charges, stemming from two separate drug trafficking offenses committed in the District of Columbia, one of which alleges his distribution of narcotics outside the barbershop. Both have pled not guilty.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu, Special Agent in Charge Chittum, and Chief Newsham commended the work of those involved in 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 and Paralegal Specialist Candace Battle.


Updated June 5, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 18-137