Three More Defendants Arrested and Charged in Investigation of an Open Drug Market from a D.C. Barbershop
Firearms, Drugs, and Cash Seized by Law Enforcement
WASHINGTON – Three additional area men have been arrested on federal narcotics charges as part of an ongoing investigation into a drug market that was operated out of a barber shop in Southeast Washington. A total of eight men have now been charged in the case, including two who earlier pled guilty to federal offenses.
The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Thomas L. Chittum III, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Those arrested today include Lacy Hamilton, 41, of Camp Springs, Md., Lonnell Tucker, 41, of Temple Hills, Md., and Calvin Wright, 41, of Washington, D.C. They were indicted, along with two other defendants who were previously arrested, by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Previously arrested were Anthony Fields, 45, and Abdul Samuels, 44, both of Washington, D.C. Another indicted defendant is still being sought.
Hamilton, Tucker and Wright made their first court appearances today and were ordered held pending a detention hearing set for Sept. 11, 2018.
The indictment charges the six defendants with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of PCP, 100 grams or more of heroin, 40 grams or more of fentanyl, and a detectable amount of buprenorphine (suboxone).
The first individuals were charged on Feb. 1, 2018, when law enforcement agents from ATF, MPD and the Prince George’s County, Md. Police Department executed search warrants on three locations and five vehicles, which led to the seizure of firearms, ammunition, and quantities of narcotics. Specifically, in addition to recovering three firearms from the barbershop and one firearm in a residence, law enforcement seized more than $7,000 in cash, and without packaging, more than 300 grams of PCP, more than 150 grams of heroin, more than 100 grams of fentanyl, boxes of suboxone strips, and more than 100 grams of a cutting agents.
The investigation earlier led to two guilty pleas. James Venable, 46, of Fort Washington, Md., pled guilty on Aug. 10, 2018 to narcotics and firearms charges stemming from his commission of two separate drug trafficking offenses while in the possession of loaded firearms. Venable’s sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 16, 2018. Darryl Smith, 41, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced on Aug. 15, 2018 on federal narcotics and firearms charges following two separate arrests in the 2400 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE, where Smith managed the Next Level Cuts barbershop that was used by multiple individuals to traffic narcotics.
The charges in an indictment are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In announcing the recent arrests and unsealed indictment, U.S. Attorney Liu, Special Agent in Charge Chittum, and Chief Newsham commended the work of those involved in the case. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who are handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Macchiaroli of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Caruso of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, and Paralegal Specialists Candace Battle, Kim Hall, and Teesha Tobias, and Legal Assistant Aiesha Bynum.