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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Two Maryland Men Plead Guilty to Armed Home Invasion and Attempted Robbery in Northeast Washington

Defendants Attempted to Steal Marijuana and Cash from Drug Dealer Illegally Operating a “Marijuana Dispensary”

            WASHINGTON – Jose Gonzalez Pacheco, aka Jose Gonzalez, 48, and Kenneth Demetrius Harris, aka Kenneth Vann, 43, both of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to federal charges stemming from their roles in an armed robbery in Northeast Washington.

            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Pacheco and Harris each pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of interference with interstate commerce by robbery, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and two counts of threatening to kill or injure a victim.  They are to be sentenced on Feb. 16, 2023, by the Honorable Christopher R. Cooper.

            As part of their pleas, Pacheco and Harris admitted that on the afternoon of July 16, 2021, they entered a male victim’s apartment in the 1400 block of New York Avenue NE, knowing that he operated an illegal marijuana “dispensary” from that location. They intended to rob him of marijuana and cash. Upon entering the apartment, Pacheco and Harris – both of whom were armed with 9mm semi-automatic handguns – discovered that the victim’s wife, female friend, and infant child were also in the apartment.

            The male victim attempted to wrestle Harris’s gun away, at which point Harris choked and punched the male victim. While Harris had the male victim in a headlock, Pacheco pointed a handgun at the male victim’s wife, friend, and infant child and told the male victim to calm down before someone got hurt. When the male victim relented, he, his wife, and his friend were bound and gagged with duct tape and zip ties, and the infant child was placed in a baby swing.  The male victim was able to remove the duct tape from his mouth and call for help, and a neighbor called 911. MPD officers responded to the scene and arrested Pacheco and Harris before they could escape. Both defendants have been detained without bond since their arrest.

            In announcing the pleas, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI and MPD. They also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Genevieve de Guzman and Teesha Tobias. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emory V. Cole and James B. Nelson, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
22-396
Updated November 8, 2022