Drug Dealers From Other Neighborhoods Moving into Northwest Columbia Heights


Ward-1 Council Member Jim Graham writes on his Web site:

Our friends in Northwest Columbia Heights, in the Spring/Perry and Oak Street areas along 14th Street have a great deal to be thankful for. There are several new businesses, moving into the attractive space created by the renovation of apartment buildings. Other renovations, some done by building owners, some forced by the city and some completely city managed are underway.

What we found in the walkthrough is that more work still needs to be done. We received reports that the drug territory we thought we had taken back is now being invaded by dealers from other neighborhoods. And in one case the dealer moving in is from Maryland. The police are aware of the problem and are actively investigating.

42 Comment

  • and this is unexpected?
    They are moving to where the customers are

  • are they opening an new CVS ?

  • Don’t bother investigating. Search, arrest, and repeat. Where to start? Look for the “Exxon” sign on 14th. I’m amazed at how few actual arrests and raids the police actually conduct in Columbia Heights given the level of crime.

  • They made that area look like the suburbs, so it shouldn’t be a shock that it attracted a suburban drug dealer.

  • now THIS is gentrification! I’m all for a higher class of drug dealer along 14th Street!

  • Umm, as only a casual observer passing through, it is painfully obvious there’s a lot of… um… informal economics going on there. Glad the CM has finally figured that one out.

    Legalize it! Let’s put dime bags and crack vials behind the glass (next to the condoms) at CVS and send the thugs looking for other gainful employment.

  • i was glad when they put up the camera looking down otis… until it didn’t stop anything

  • Kalorini

    “The police are aware of the problem and are actively investigating.”

    Of course they know about it, but what are their strategies for dealing with the problem? That would be something worth knowing, and posting on the councilman’s website…

  • What is largest building between Oak and Spring on 14th St? Coincidence, i think not.

  • Wasn’t this an episode on The Wire?

  • My area of Petworth (just north of the metro) has had a lot of turnover of former drug houses. In one case, the city is suing the owner and there have been repeated police raids, resulting in stay away orders for the drug dealers (they will be arrested if they show up in the area – and yes, this has happened). There are also 2 other properties I know that had drug dealing but got sold. Plus the apartment building at the corner of 7th and Varnum that got vacated…

    So where are all the drug dealers going? Of course it would be nice to think they are now going get jobs at Target and Best Buy 😉 But seriously…I’m sure other spots a few blocks away are getting the dealers we kick out. Sigh.

  • Last night, I saw not one but two deals go down on Otis by the Exxon Station, going to and from Target. The second one was in the midst of the ice storm.

  • Petworth can have Ward 6’s drug dealers….Free to a good home…

  • So, you’re telling me the Oak St gang’s territory is up for grabs? Or has it already been occupied? Yikes. pop pop bling bling

  • The dealers and the types of durgs being offered for sale are changing.
    1. More prescription pills
    2. HQW- Higher Quality Weed
    3. X we all know what is X and it is not the #10
    4. LC less crack
    5. NML Now More malt liq

  • this is probably a stupid (read: naive) question, but how do the crackwhores and other druggies know who is now selling their fave narcotic of choice and how do they know where the “new” person is to make the deal? I’ve always been curious about that. It’s not as if there is a big sign hanging outside informing people “Under New Management!” or “We moved! Please visit us at 14th and Euclid for all your crackwhore needs!” hmmmmm

    • word of mouth. it’s a small world for those in it. Plus, dealers and buyers have subtle ways of advertising their purpose, when to you it just looks like they’re walking by or standing around.

      • I presume you wouldn’t notice/recognize, b/c the way you refer to them as druggies and crackwhors makes it sound like you’ve never seen a ‘regular’ person go down. Unlike the socially sanctioned addicts popping pills and drinking themselves to death, ‘drug users’ usually have to do their dirt in the street, where they get hurt, arrested, and publicly abused and embarrassed. They’re addicts, their lives are a complete car wreck, but they’re people. If you think of them as static spectacles, it just reenforces their alienation.

        I might have been presumptuous — i just took the opportunity to talk about a pet peeve of mine. That being, new city transplants or sheltered well-off residents who look at street level drug trade and use as some spectacle to watch, where addicts are like urban wildlife or something. The only difference between a poor heroin addict and a middle class alcoholic who drinks him/herself to sleep every night, is that the alcoholic has the wealth & education to insulate and support his/her habit. If the two substances’ costs were relative to the user’s income, a bottle of liquor would cost a thousand dollars. If that middle class alcoholic didn’t have many rungs to fall down the economic ladder, but still had to support a habit that cost them at least his/her $100,000 salary plus some… they’d be doing the same vile stuff get what they need.

        Some already do — think about the raging alcoholics who are bankers, high-end defense lawyers, politicians — they steal from people, commit morally repugnant actions, and lie to maintain their ‘comfortable’ standing (they just have a higher price tag on their addiction lifestyle.) When confronted about their actions, they have demonstrate the same venomous responses, dismissive/avoiding/denial behavior, and bizarre justifications for why they’re entitled to wallow or abuse others for their benefit.. that any “druggie” or “crackwhor” does.

        • Since when are alcoholics “socially sanctioned?” I think you’ll find that druggies, crackwhores, barhounds, alcoholics, potsmokers, pill-poppers and the like are all universally derided as lame-os.

  • So this is probably a stupid (read: naive) question, but how do the crackwhores and junkies know who is now selling their drug of choice and how do they find the location of the new “business”? It is not as if they hang a sign outside that says, “Under New Management!” or “We moved! Please visit us at on the corner of 14th and Euclid!”. hmmmmm

  • Oh, MPD is on the case? Awesome.

  • I have been battling a Maryland drug dealer for 3 years now. He just showed up about 3 weeks ago after I hadn’t seen him since last Spring.

    I hazard that the majority of the drug dealers I know now live in PG County.

  • Lots of other things the police could crack down on that contribute to an atmosphere that encourages/permits drug dealers:

    * Kids/migrants on mopeds running up and down 14th without licenses or helmets
    * Street vendors on 14th selling CD’s, Obama T-shirts, papaya, gospel music without a street vendor license.
    * Loitering/congregating near the Exxon or the “rainbow bench park” in groups of more than 3.
    * Truancy / curfew violations.

    Other suggestions:

    * Removal of the 6 payphones near the Columbia Heights Metro, the 2 in the Exxon parking lot, and any others up or down 14th.
    * Better street lighting.
    * Actual police walking up and down the 14th at least 1 day a week per officer.

    Some may disagree with my comments, or find them unfair. I doubt they would complain about the benefits from taking these steps.

    Jim Graham, are you listening? Can you at least call Exxon corporate office (or visit their lobbying office no doubt on K street) and chat with them about better security or fencing? Certainly Elanor Holmes Norton could call an Exxon lobbyist into her office and have a chat. They would drool at the opportunity to meet a congresswoman. Jim, can you set that up?

    Shocking that a gas station with no less than 20 people onsite at one time doesn’t have a security officer. Heck, the Lane Bryant in DC USA has a security guard. Something is wrong here… Jim?

  • Neener between a lot of the Section 8 houses/apartments going single family or condo and DC tearing down a lot of public housing along East Capitol on the other side of the Anacostia and all over the residents had to move somewhere.

  • The main drug dealer who works the alleys between 2nd and 3rd St NW by the Old Soldier’s Home drives a white Infiniti SUV with Maryland plates. He’ll get run off and stay away for a few weeks and then come back. Neighbors constantly call MPD who, very occasionally, show up late and do nothing. I guess it’s too much to ask for the police to do their frickin’ job and arrest criminals. As some MPD officers will tell you to your face (many of whom also live in Maryland), it’s our problem for moving to a neighborhood like Petworth. They see nothing wrong with derelict drug addicts and drug thugs from Maryland hanging out behind YOUR houses. “Oh, we can’t do anything ’cause we didn’t see nothin’.” If a bunch of squares like my neighbors and me can clearly see hand-to-hand exchanges of drugs and money how is that MPD can’t?

    Perhaps some of that drug money is making some MPD officers in Petworth and CH have poor eyesight. Shocker.

    Perhaps the Grahamstander and his pathetic comrades on the Council should investigate this peculiar vision problem of MPD instead of peppering people with pointless e-mails after every shooting, appearing at ribbon-cuttings, and paying for staff’s abortions.

    It’d be nice if Ward’s 1 & 4 had leaders who actually gave a crap about making this city inhospitable for crime instead of getting their toothy photo taken at the opening of a new Chipoltle. When criminals are COMMUTING to your city, there is a PROBLEM. A problem that arrests, convictions, and long prison sentences are the cure for.

    When someone is driving their $70K SUV in to town like some sort of business executive that person is not simply selling poison to our fellow residents to “get along.” That person needs to be buried under the jail – and his Infiniti needs to be melted down and turned into playground equipment.

  • I live right by the gas station! A few weeks ago, I saw these red signs saying that this was a super DRUG FREE ZONE for a specific amount of days. Wish I took a picture of it!

    There could be more cops in the area. I’ve never seen one drive casually down my street just to patrol, which now that I think about it, is kind of scary.

    Aren’t there drug dealers everywhere? I mean, if they didn’t use our neighborhood, wouldn’t they just move down to 14th and Meridian or up to 14th and Taylor?

  • I don’t understand what there is to “actively investigate?” If they’re aware of it, arrest the m-fers or run them out of the area? WTF? I just don’t get it…

  • Anymouse: Interesting, isn’t it? If only we had some sort of oversight of the police – like, I dunno – a “city council” or “mayor” that could ask questions of the police like “hey, why the fuck aren’t you arresting people who commit crimes out in the open?” Or “why is it that often times residents notice that the drug dealers leave JUST before the MPD arrives (late)?”

    If only we had someone who had the time to look into the drugs, guns, and violence that prevent this city from moving forward – but alas The Grahamstander, Murial, Phearless Phil, and Stammering Adrian are just too busy getting their photos taken at the latest Dunkin Donuts opening to notice the blood staining the alleyways.

    And we’re are just going to return the whole lot of them to office like the bunch of dopes we are.

    We’ll continue to make excuses for a city that allows drug dealing and murder to happen with impunity. We’ll just “ignore” the open air drug market that goes on outside our back doors. We’ll continue to be “culturally sensitive” to the stabbings, robberies, and other mayhem that happen along Georgia Avenue – because, after all – there sure is great jerk chicken!

  • “Move down to 14th and Meridian”? Yeah, they probably would, only the crew that already operates at 14th and Meridian might have something to say about it. They try the “Drug Free Zone” gimmick on Meridian sometimes. A few days of quiet ensue, before we go back to business as usual.

    And for the apologist insisting that upper-middle-class addicts get a pass while poor crack-heads don’t: At least upper-middle-class addicts have the decency to feed their habits with money they’ve earned doing something vaguely constructive, like accounting, instead of rolling waiters walking back from the metro at 2 am for their latest fix. Also, upper-middle-class addicts don’t piss in my front yard and then pass out in it. But maybe I’m just being fussy. (“Hey you crackheads! Get off my lawn!”)

  • I’m thinking maybe the MPD just needs a little help. With all the camera phones out there perhaps we outta start a new website called “Know Your Local DC Drug Dealer” and post their pictures. We can have a subsection called “Know Your Late Arriving MPD Officer” to post their photos for all to see as well.

  • Crack? crack? who said crack? where can I get some… you got those WMDs?

  • “Neener between a lot of the Section 8 houses/apartments going single family or condo and DC tearing down a lot of public housing along East Capitol on the other side of the Anacostia and all over the residents had to move somewhere.”

    Oh, I know this guy by name. His mother lived in a rental that got gentrified and he drives in from Lanham where she lives (I have her address and supplied it to the FBI and DEA) to sell drugs here.

    I have MANY cell phone photos of local drug dealers. I do not want to post them until I know how to do it without being accused of libel. Any ideas?

  • I have MANY cell phone photos of local drug dealers. I do not want to post them until I know how to do it without being accused of libel. Any ideas?

    ^ ^ post their photo under the question “is this person a drug dealer?”. pose the question, then list the facts that lead you to ask the question (frequently loiters on same corner, exchanges money for unseen objects, etc)

  • Neener: Truth is an absolute bar to libel.

  • Say you take a picture from your apartment/house of a suspected dealer(s) operating on your block from your window, they potentially can figure out where the picture was taken from and probably retaliate. So it is a great idea, but a think it is a very dangerous one.

  • to think that any of the 14th Street drug dealing was gone and to be surprised that it is here – is out right stupid. Take a look at the majority of the new businesses from the Exxon to Shepherd Street – they’re all gin joints..loud, obnoxious, dangerous bars & clubs. MPD on the cse. LOLOL

  • Our neighborhood — and I’m in that Ogden/Perry/Spring/Oak block just off 14th St– requires hard-hitting application of laws to

    (a) require multi-family housing unit owners to live up to their obligations to provide safe shelter to residents and surrounding families and neighbors


    (b) get our known drug dealers off the street. We must be vigilant that crime is prosecuted. The little slaps on the writsts that chronic and violent criminals get is ridiculous. And everyone is coming to know about it.


    (c) prevention, prevention, prevention. We see little pre-teen thugs around. They’re the next generation of serious offenders unless we do something about it.

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