Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Brandishing and Discharging Firearms in Relation to Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Committed Violence on behalf of a “Street Crew” in Southeast D.C.
WASHINGTON – Trenton Robinson, 28, of District Heights, Maryland pleaded guilty today to brandishing and discharging firearms in relation to drug trafficking crimes in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Southeast Washington, D.C. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 19, 2024.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs, of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division, Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai, of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and Interim Chief Pamela A. Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Robinson is one of more than two dozen individuals arrested as part of a joint FBI/ATF investigation which resulted in the seizure of more than 49 pounds of marijuana, 61 grams of crack cocaine, 23 firearms including three fully automatic machineguns, and more than $497,000 in cash.
Robinson, who utilized the street nickname “Zulu,” pleaded guilty to one count of brandishing a firearm in relation to drug trafficking, and one count of discharging a firearm in relation to drug trafficking. According to the government’s evidence, beginning in approximately June 2018, and continuing through April 2021, Robinson and his co-conspirators maintained drug dealing territory on Trenton Place SE in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. – a territory they defended by carrying, and discharging, firearms at perceived rivals. As part of his role in the conspiracy, Robinson distributed marijuana in bulk quantities and served as an armed defender of the co-conspirators’ drug dealing territory.
As part of his plea agreement, Robinson admitted that he conspired with others to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, as well as oxycodone and codeine. Robinson also admitted that he conspired with others to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to drug trafficking. Finally, Robinson admitted to carrying and brandishing firearms on multiple occasions between January 2, 2020, and May 30, 2020, when necessary to defend the co-conspirators, their drugs, or their cash. Robinson also admitted that, on April 12, 2020, he brandished and discharged a fully automatic .223 caliber AR-Pistol at the driver of a passing vehicle in the co-conspirators’ drug-dealing territory. Robinson faces a mandatory-minimum sentence of 17 years in prison.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge Kailimai, and Interim Chief Smith commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI, ATF, and MPD. They also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney James B. Nelson who investigated and prosecuted the case.
Updated October 24, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-643