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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 30, 2018

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Participating in Firearms Trafficking Conspiracy

FBI Recovered Multiple Assault Rifles During Its Investigation

            WASHINGTON – Austin Peed, 36, of Avenue, Md., pled guilty today to trafficking in firearms following his arrest in a nearly year-long investigation involving narcotics and firearms trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

            Peed pled guilty before the Honorable Richard J. Leon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States. Peed faces a maximum of five years of incarceration and is currently held without bond. Judge Leon scheduled sentencing for March 26, 2019.

            According to the government’s evidence, Peed engaged in the sale of two separate AR-15 assault rifles in Maryland and Washington, D.C. to an undercover law enforcement officer in exchange for cash. The first purchase occurred on Sept. 6, 2017, in Bladensburg, Md., in exchange for $1,200. The second purchase occurred on Sept. 28, 2017 in the 1700 block of Girard Street NE, in exchange for $1,500. During the second purchase, Peed provided a rifle scope to accompany the rifle. The firearms were without serial numbers and were untraceable.

            Peed was arrested with eight other individuals in March 2018 in relation to a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and 280 grams or more of crack. Numerous defendants were also charged with possessing and distributing various narcotics, including crack, cocaine, PCP and fentanyl, during the period of the investigation.

            This case is part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF specializes in the investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises, which includes, corresponding firearms related crimes.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu and Assistant Director in Charge McNamara commended the work of those who investigated the case. They cited the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Paralegal Specialist Jeannette Litz, who assisted with the case, and Christopher Macchiaroli and Kevin Rosenberg of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Section, who conducted the underlying investigation, indicted the case, and are prosecuting the remaining defendants.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
18-330
Updated November 30, 2018