Two Men Indicted on Drug Distribution Charges Following Investigation of Fentanyl Sales
Operation Allegedly Based at Residences in Northeast Washington
WASHINGTON – Two men, both from Washington, D.C., have been indicted on federal charges following an investigation by federal and local law enforcement agencies into a drug operation that was selling Fentanyl and heroin in the Ivy City area of Northeast Washington.
Nathaniel Scruggs, 37, and Andrew Cooper, 46, were arrested on Nov. 10, 2021, and remain detained following hearings this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Scruggs is charged with six counts of unlawful distribution of Fentanyl and heroin, and, in a separate indictment, Cooper is charged with five counts of Fentanyl distribution. Both men are to appear Nov. 22, 2021, for a status hearing before the Honorable Amit P. Mehta.
The indictments were announced today by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division, Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division Office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Kevin Davis, Chief of the Fairfax County, Va. Police.
The arrests followed an investigation into drug sales that allegedly were taking place near the defendants’ two residences in the 1900 block of Capitol Avenue NE. According to court documents, the joint law enforcement investigation began last spring after the defendants were linked to drug sales and pending overdose investigations by the Fairfax County Police Department. As noted by the DEA, because of its potency and low cost, drug dealers nationally have been mixing Fentanyl with other drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, increasing the likelihood of a fatal interaction.
At the time of the arrests, law enforcement executed search warrants at the defendants’ residences. According to court documents, law enforcement seized more than 400 grams of suspected Fentanyl and other drugs from Cooper’s residence, along with counterfeit OxyContin pills that were actually Fentanyl, cocaine and other drugs, approximately $74,430 of bundled cash, three cell phones, and a firearm. From Scruggs’s residence, agents seized $1,200 in cash and four cell phones, according to the court filings.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Washington Division Office of the DEA, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Fairfax County, Va. Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Henek, of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.