Sixteen-Defendant Narcotics and Firearms Prosecution Ends With Felony Convictions and Lengthy Periods of Incarceration
Law Enforcement Seized Kilograms of Narcotics, Firearms, and Cash
WASHINGTON – Chaka Al-Fatah, 37, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to a federal firearms charge today, concluding the prosecution of 16 defendants for narcotics and firearms offenses that resulted in felony convictions, lengthy periods of incarceration, and the forfeiture of assets.
The plea was announced by Channing D. Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland; Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Peter Newsham, Acting Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Henry P. Stawinski III, Chief of the Prince George’s County, Md. Police Department; Robert D. MacLean, Chief of the United States Park Police, and Robert Turner, Acting U.S. Marshal for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Al-Fatah pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell to the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a narcotics trafficking offense. The plea agreement, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for a sentence of five to eight years in prison. Chief Judge Howell scheduled sentencing for April 21, 2017.
Over the past 18 months, Chief Judge Howell has also accepted felony pleas from 15 others charged in the case. They include Andre Arrington, 34, of Washington, D.C.; Tijuan Arrington, 40, of Washington, D.C.; Donovan Bostick, 32, of Washington, D.C.; Tamara Davies-Henry, 28, of Oxon Hill, Md.; Donnell Ennels, 41, of Washington, D.C.; Earica Hamilton, 34, of Washington, D.C.; Ricco Johnson, 40, of Brandywine, Md.; Rodney Jones, 22, of Washington, D.C.; Kyree Mitchell, 20, of Washington, D.C.; Kevin Morris, 43, of Washington, D.C.; Demetrius Muschetta, 33, of Washington, D.C.; Jonathan Taylor, 33, of Washington, D.C.; Don Whitaker, 22, of Washington, D.C.; Myron Williams, 40, of Oxon Hill, Md., and William Winter, 38, of Suitland, Md.
Notably, Chief Judge Howell sentenced Morris to 10 years of incarceration and Williams to nine years, each followed by multiple years of supervised release. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Muschetta for March 17, 2017, and pursuant to the plea agreement, Muschetta is to be sentenced to a term of 11 to 13 years of incarceration.
As established through the defendant’s guilty pleas, in January 2015, the FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force began a long-term investigation into a narcotics enterprise involving Williams and Muschetta that primarily focused in the Barnaby Terrace area of Southeast Washington and extended into Maryland. The investigation revealed that Williams and Muschetta were partners in a drug business and purchased kilogram amounts of cocaine and heroin from multiple sources, including Johnson and Winter, and then in turn supplied it to other co-defendants for eventual distribution.
In addition to numerous recorded telephone calls and text messages that revealed the role of the narcotics enterprise, law enforcement seized large amounts of narcotics, firearms, and cash. On April 6, 2015, law enforcement stopped Morris and recovered from his vehicle a kilogram of heroin. On May 6, 2015, law enforcement stopped Muschetta in Maryland and recovered from his vehicle three kilograms of heroin. Later that evening, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Muschetta’s residence in Washington, D.C. and recovered additional kilograms of narcotics and multiple firearms. During subsequent search warrants of the co-defendants’ residences, law enforcement recovered additional quantities of narcotics, firearms, narcotics paraphernalia, and large amounts of U.S. currency.
The 16 defendants were arrested after months of investigation by the FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of agents from the FBI, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the United States Park Police, and the United States Marshals Service. The Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force sponsored and supported this complex investigation
In announcing the conclusion of the government’s prosecution, U.S. Attorney Phillips, U.S. Attorney Rosenstein, Assistant Director in Charge Vale, Acting Chief Newsham, Chief Stawinski, Chief MacLean, and Acting Marshal Turner commended the work of the D.C. Safe Streets Task Force.
They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Scarpelli and Christopher Macchiaroli of the Violent Crimes and Narcotics Trafficking Section; Assistant U.S. Attorney Zia Faruqui and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Bateman of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; former Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Han and Todd Gee; Paralegal Specialists Candace Battle, Mary Downing, Teesha Tobias, Catherine O’Neal, and Toni Anne Donato, and Legal Assistants Brendan Coyne, Diane Brashears, and Latoya Wade. They also commended those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland including Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Sullivan, who prosecuted the Maryland portion of Muschetta’s narcotics seizure prior to the charges being transferred to Washington, D.C. for resolution before Chief Judge Howell.