- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 21, 2003

Federal agents and area police staged a series of raids yesterday that resulted in the arrest of 10 suspected members of the 10th Place Crew — a Southeast D.C. gang connected with trafficking cocaine and crack in the metropolitan region.

According to federal indictments unsealed yesterday, the 10 men arrested and two others already in jail are charged with 21 counts of narcotics conspiracy for the distribution of multiple kilograms of cocaine and crack cocaine. The profits were laundered through the purchase of at least 25 luxury automobiles and a Maryland home worth $350,000.

“This was one of the highest takedowns of drugs or drug activity here in the District of Columbia,” said Roscoe C. Howard, U.S. attorney for the District. He said the men were selling drug on the wholesale and street level.

More than 100 officers and agents from the Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the FBI and the Metropolitan Police Department, participated in yesterday’s operation. They were joined by officers from Prince George’s County police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Eight search warrants were executed yesterday. Authorities said they recovered nine firearms, including a Tec-9 machine gun, a Mac 11 machine gun, a shotgun, two .45-caliber handguns and an unspecified number of 9 mm handguns.

Police said they also recovered more than a half kilogram of pure heroin, a half kilogram of cocaine and cocaine base, a substantial amount of marijuana, two bulletproof vests and $10,000 in cash. (A kilogram is 2.2 pounds.)

“All the arrests and searches went without incident,” said Thomas Kinnally, FBI special agent in charge of the criminal division of the D.C. field office. Arrests also were made in the District and Prince George’s County.

The gang, whose members were known by such nicknames as “Fat Tony,” “Rocco,” “Johnny Boy” and “Dumb Donnie,” had been in operation since 1989, police said. The investigation began in 1998.

“We know this group was involved in violence,” said Assistant Chief Al Broadbent of the Metropolitan Police Department.

Mr. Howard said more charges could be filed as the investigation proceeds, and that the gang could also be connected to at least one homicide and a number of shootings.

“Clearly the guns were used for a purpose,” Mr. Howard said. “But it was more protection of territory, protection of turf, that made it a dangerous corridor.”



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