Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and members from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced today the arrests of 44 suspects for the possession and distribution of firearms and narcotics with a street value of more than $1.5 million.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
The investigation was a joint effort with MPD, ATF, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Both the FBI and ATF were active partners in the undercover effort and the subsequent prosecution of defendants. The United States Attorney’s Office for the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>District of Columbia worked quickly to indict and charge the 44 individuals involved.
“The numbers of drugs and weapons are staggering,” said Mayor Fenty. “The men and women who put their lives on the line to go undercover deserve our thanks for making the city safer.”
The undercover operation was set up inside of a Northeast, DC body shop called E.B.’s Auto Shop with five undercover officers posing as international drug traffickers. The first undercover purchase was made on June 24, 2009. Arrests continued through December 2009.
MPD’s Major Narcotics Unit and federal authorities seized nearly five kilograms of cocaine, 49 ounces of PCP, 210 grams of crack cocaine, and 2.5 kilograms of heroin. The drugs were purchased and seized by the detectives in the investigation. Additionally 123 firearms, including 25 assault weapons were purchased or seized during the undercover operation.
“This is an example of the guns, gangs and drugs that are wreaking havoc on the city,” said Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. “This is the most successful operation that we’ve done in Washington, DC since the 1970s.”
A ring of violent criminals that were involved in carjackings, home invasion robberies, auto theft, drug dealing, and firearms trafficking were arrested as part of this undercover investigation.
“We are honored to be a part of one of the most successful violent crime initiatives in the District in the last 30 years,” said Richard Marianos, the ATF’s Assistant Special Agent In Charge.
Firearms purchased during the operation were supplied from Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, and Maryland. Heroin and cocaine originating from Mexico, Guatemala, and Canada was purchased or seized during the investigation.
Defendants were arrested from local areas such as WashingtonDC, Maryland, and as far away as Mexico and Canada.
Anyone with information about crimes that occur in the District is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099 or 1-888-919-CRIM [E]. Anonymous information may also be forwarded to the DC Crime Solvers Unit at 1-866-411-TIPS and to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. If the information provided to Crime Solvers leads to an arrest and indictment, that caller will be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.