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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Maryland Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Possessing Six Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

Defendant Had Three Prior Felony Convictions Prior to Arrest

           WASHINGTON – Russell Harrison, 40, of Temple Hills, Md., was sentenced today to nine years in prison for possessing six firearms in furtherance of his participation in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division.

           Harrison pled guilty in August 2018 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. Judge Richard J. Leon sentenced Harrison to 110 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

           Harrison was arrested with seven 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 cocaine base. Numerous defendants were also charged with possessing and distributing various narcotics, including cocaine base, cocaine, PCP and fentanyl, during the period of the investigation. The charges followed an investigation into narcotics trafficking in the Washington, D.C. area.

           On March 15, 2018, during the execution of a search warrant on Harrison’s residence, FBI agents and members of the U.S. Marshals Service recovered six separate firearms, multiple rounds of ammunition, a 50-round capacity drum, a firearm silencer, and drug paraphernalia. During his plea hearing, Harrison acknowledged that he possessed the firearms in furtherance of his participation in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

           Harrison’s conviction represents his fourth felony conviction. He was convicted twice before for trafficking narcotics and once for committing an assault with a firearm. Harrison was held without bond following his March 2018 arrest. While incarcerated at the D.C. jail, Harrison stabbed a fellow inmate and was subsequently convicted of assault and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon in the District of Columbia Superior Court.

           Five others have pled guilty to charges in the case. They include Darnell Catlett, 46, of Upper Marlboro, Md; Brian Jenkins, 44, of Brentwood, Md.; Everette Reel, 46, of Upper Marlboro, Md; Jamal Curtis, 41, of Washington, D.C.; and Derek Holmes, 54, of Washington, D.C. Catlett, Reel, Curtis, and Holmes are now serving sentences. Jenkins has not yet been sentenced.  Jenkins faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years of incarceration and up to 40 years of imprisonment for his participation in the drug trafficking conspiracy. As the leader of the conspiracy, Catlett was sentenced on August 9, 2019 to 16 years of incarceration and 5 years of supervised release.

           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 sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu and Special Agent in Charge Dunham commended the work of those who investigated the case. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service. They also 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, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Macchiaroli and Kevin Rosenberg of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Section, who conducted the underlying investigation, indicted the case, and prosecuted the defendants, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Shehzad Akhtar, who prosecuted Harrison’s prison assault matter.

 

Press Release Number: 
19-173
Updated September 17, 2019