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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Maryland Man Pled Guilty to Being the Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Conspiracy and Firearm Possession

FBI Recovered Crack, Cocaine, PCP, Fentanyl, and Firearms During Investigation

            WASHINGTON – Darnell Catlett, 46, of Upper Marlboro, pled guilty yesterday to trafficking in crack and powder cocaine as part of a nearly year-long narcotics conspiracy in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

            Catlett 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 distribute and possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base and a detectable amount of cocaine. The charge requires a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years of incarceration and up to life imprisonment. Catlett’s sentencing guidelines range calls for a sentence of 168 months to 210 months of incarceration. Judge Leon scheduled Catlett’s sentencing for August 9, 2019.

            Catlett was arrested on the morning of March 15, 2018 and his residence was searched pursuant to a search warrant. At Catlett’s residence, the FBI recovered a loaded firearm, $70,813 in U.S. currency, a black and white money counter, and multiple plastic bags with drug residue. Inside his BMW parked in the garage, Catlett had 234 grams of packaged crack stored in the vehicle. As part of his plea agreement, Catlett accepted responsibility for a firearm possessed in his Maryland residence at the time of his arrest and that he was a leader of the conspiracy.

            Five others have pled guilty to charges in the case. They include Everette Reel, 46, of Upper Marlboro, MD; Jamal Curtis, 41, of Washington, D.C., Derek Holmes, 54, of Washington, D.C., Russell Harrison, 40, of Temple Hills, MD., and Brian Jenkins, 44, of Brentwood, MD. Reel, Curtis, and Holmes are now serving sentences. Coconspirators Russell Harrison and Brian Jenkins still face sentencing. Harrison faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years of incarceration and up to life imprisonment for his possession of multiple firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking as part of the conspiracy. Jenkins faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years of incarceration and up to forty years imprisonment for his distribution of cocaine and crack as part of the conspiracy.

            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.

            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 Specialists Candace Battle and Teesha Tobias, Legal Assistant Emma Atlas, and Christopher Macchiaroli and Kevin Rosenberg of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Section, who conducted the underlying investigation, indicted the case, and prosecuted the defendants.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
19-075
Updated May 28, 2019