Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC
“Seventeen people were arrested today following their indictments on federal charges in connection with an ongoing investigation by the FBI/Metropolitan Police Department Safe Streets Task Force into a network that trafficked heroin, cocaine, and marijuana from Texas to the Washington, D.C. area. The drugs were then distributed in the Washington, D.C. area.
In addition to the arrests today, in the Washington, D.C. area, two defendants already were in custody. Seven others were apprehended in McAllen, Texas on Nov. 18, 2013.
The arrests and charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
The defendants are among those named in two indictments returned on Nov. 7, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The indictments, partially unsealed, charge the defendants with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. Some of the defendants also are charged with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. Both indictments also include a forfeiture allegation seeking all proceeds derived from the crimes, as well as assets used to commit the offenses. If convicted, the defendants face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office and MPD were joined in the law enforcement action this week by the FBI San Antonio Field Office’s McAllen Resident Agency; the U.S. Park Police; the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. Bureau of Prisons; the Prince George’s County, Md. Police Department; the Hidalgo County, Texas Sheriff’s Office, and the San Juan, Texas Police Department.
A total of 17 locations and four vehicles locations were searched today in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Authorities seized 18 guns, heroin, PCP and cash.
The indictments allege that the defendants conspired to carry out the drug operation from October 2012 through October of this year, when it was broken up by law enforcement. The network allegedly operated in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Texas.
“These indictments were designed to dismantle a drug ring that trafficked heroin and cocaine from Texas into the District of Columbia,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “We all owe a debt of gratitude to the more than 200 agents and officers whose courage today resulted in 17 arrests and the seizure of more than a dozen firearms and heroin and PCP. The District of Columbia is a safer place today with these guns and drugs off the street.”
“The arrests that were carried out this week in the Washington, D.C., region and in Texas once again show that we will not tolerate drug dealers who attempt to root their network within our communities and afflict our neighborhoods with their illegal trade,” said Assistant Director in Charge Parlave. “Along with our partners on the Safe Streets Task Force, the FBI is focused on pursuing those who pose a threat to our communities through the sale of illegal drugs.”
“These are significant arrests, and the volume of drugs and weapons seized highlight the potentially devastating impact this criminal enterprise had on the D.C. metropolitan area and various communities across the country,” said Chief Lanier. “The Metropolitan Police Department along with our local and federal law enforcement partners continue to work together to make our communities safer by locating and disrupting criminal organizations intent on wreaking havoc on our neighborhoods for their own personal gain. We are sending a message to criminals nationwide that we will find you and arrest you.”
A total of 12 men and five women were arrested in the area today.
Those arrested in the Washington, D.C. area include several members of one family: Juan Floyd, 45, of Temple Hills, Md., an alleged leader of the enterprise; his brother, John Floyd, 51, of Washington, D.C., and his daughter, Juanita N. Culbreth, 27, of Oxon Hill, Md. Others arrested today include: Lisa Adona, 50, of Fort Washington, Md.; Rodney Kirk Carter, 50, of Washington, D.C.; Derek L. Gadsden, 54, of Washington, D.C.; Donald Johnson, 51, of Washington, D.C.; Mike Johnson, 30, of Deale, Md.; Albert P. Jones, 44, of Temple Hills, Md.; Vincent J. Jones, 45, of Washington, D.C.; Roxanne Matthews-Baker, 47, of Washington, D.C.; Maurice P. Mercer, 38, of Washington, D.C.; Lawrence E. Proctor, 54, of Washington, D.C.; Darnell S. Rogers, 50, of Fort Washington, Md.; Bruce Settles, 48, of Washington, D.C.; Delshawn A. Wrice, 53, of Washington, D.C., and Jeri Wright, 60, of Suitland, Md.
Jeffrey Coachman, 39, and Gary Price, 47, already were in custody.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
This prosecution grew out of a long-term FBI/MPD alliance called the Safe Streets Task Force that targets violent drug trafficking gangs in the District of Columbia. The Safe Streets Initiative is funded in part by the Baltimore Washington High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area as well as the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The initiative involves more than 150 Safe Streets Task Forces across the country that combat street gangs by combining federal, state and local police resources. The task forces, which began in 1992 in Los Angeles and the District of Columbia, address gang activity, including drug-related crimes.
U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge Parlave and Chief Lanier thanked those who pursued the investigation from the FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force and other agencies. They also expressed appreciation to the Prince George’s County Police Department, the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Maryland State Police, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland and the McAllen Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, for their assistance in the investigation.
Finally, they acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the investigation from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Paralegal Specialists Catherine O’Neal, Jeannette Litz, Reagan Gibson, Rommel Pachoca, Teesha Tobias, Kim Hall, Niya Attucks, and Mary Downing, and Legal Assistants Priscilla Hutson and Jessica Moffatt.
They also commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karla-Dee Clark and Thomas A. Gillice, who are prosecuting the case; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zia Faruqui of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, which is assisting with the forfeiture action, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Debra Long-Doyle and Suzanne Clement Libby who assisted with the investigation and prosecution.”