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Press Release

Former D.C. Government Employee Sentenced for Distributing Fentanyl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former Washington, D.C. government employee with a prior murder conviction was sentenced today to 63 months in prison for distributing fentanyl and illegally possessing multiple firearms.

According to court documents, while employed in the Permitting Department of the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) in Southwest D.C., Darrell Marcellus Pope, 51, of Clinton, Maryland, regularly sold fentanyl to customers in front of his office building.  The DCRA is located within 1,000 feet of Amiden Bowen Elementary School. Over the course of the investigation, Pope sold a total of 87 grams of fentanyl—more than 43,000 potentially lethal doses—to an undercover law enforcement officer and a confidential source.

Pope had a broad network of customers, including several who lived in the Eastern District of Virginia. One of Pope’s customers, identified in court documents as A.D., regularly traveled from Woodbridge to buy heroin and fentanyl from Pope. On March 14, 2019, Pope sold drugs to A.D., who brought them back to Woodbridge. The drugs that Pope sold to A.D. ultimately contributed to the fatal overdose of a Lake Ridge woman.

When Pope was arrested in September 2019, law enforcement executed search warrants at his home and office. In his residence, agents seized three firearms, which Pope is prohibited from possessing because of his prior felony conviction. Also when he was arrested, law enforcement identified Pope’s fentanyl supplier, Ronald Gorham, whom Pope met when both Pope and Gorham were both serving prison sentences for unrelated murder convictions.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division; and Jarad L. Phelps, Acting Chief of Prince William County Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Rumbaugh prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-355.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated December 15, 2020

Drug Trafficking