Friday, May 24, 2013 7:31 PM
Published on: Friday, December 07, 2012
By Jim Davis
Five Prince George’s County residents were arrested on drug charges as part of an ongoing investigation into a distribution network of heroin, crack cocaine, powder cocaine and other drugs in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
The U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia announced the arrests last Thursday, and 29 others throughout the Washington D.C area were also apprehended by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cross Border Task Force.
“For all of the progress we have made in eliminating drugs from our community, drug dealers are still committed to poisoning our neighborhoods with narcotics,” U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said.
“But today’s arrests, following the indictments of nearly three dozen people charged with conspiring to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in Northwest D.C., demonstrate law enforcement’s even greater commitment to disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations.
“This takedown — stretching from Georgia to Delaware — is one of the largest in recent D.C. history. This sweeping and well-coordinated law enforcement effort should cause drug traffickers to think twice before deciding to sell drugs in our city.
“We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the law enforcement agencies, led by the FBI and MPD (Metropolitan Police Department), who worked tirelessly over the last year to make this operation so successful.”
In Prince George’s County, two people were arrested in the Oxon Hill area. Other arrests were made in Suitland, Bowie and Upper Marlboro.
Members of the Cross Border Task Force also conducted a search in New Carrollton and recovered two handguns, a rifle and $57,200 in cash along with heroin, crack cocaine, powder cocaine and other drugs, Miller said.
“Drug supply and trafficking organizations like this have rooted their criminal networks within specific neighborhoods, jeopardizing the safety of our entire community,” said Debra Evans Smith, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier, of Metropolitan Police Department, said, “With the indictments and this seizure, we have made a major dent in the supply of heroin and cocaine that would have been distributed to Washington , D.C., and the surrounding areas.
“The Metropolitan Police Department’s Narcotics and Special Investigations Division, FBI, and our law enforcement partners are committed to stopping the influx of drugs in our communities.”
The Cross Border Task Force is part of the Safe Streets Initiative, which 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.