Drug Enforcement Administration

Washington, DC

Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge

November 24, 2003

Contact: Public Information Officer

Phone Number: (202) 305-8426

7 Defendants Indicted On Drug Trafficking And Money Laundering And Gun Charges

NOV 24--Washington, DC- The Drug Enforcement Administration's Special Agent-in-Charge Laura Nagel, announced yesterday that a federal grand jury in the District of Maryland returned an 18 count superseding indictment charging 7 individuals with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack base and phencyclidine (PCP), in the Palmer Park area of Prince George's County, Maryland between 1999 and June 12, 2003.

The individuals charged in the drug conspiracy include:

Marshall Nicholson Jr., age 37, of Palmer Park, Maryland
Steven Darnell Whitehead, age 42, of Oxon Hill, Maryland
Jeffrey McKinley Etheredge, age 34, of Temple Hills, Maryland
Robert Edward Turner, age 30, of Forestville, Maryland 
Marshall Nicholson Sr., age 60, of Palmer Park, Maryland, the father of Marshall Nicholson Jr., and 
Gladys Payne Nicholson, age 61 of Palmer Park, Maryland, the mother of Marshall Nicholson Jr.

In addition to the drug conspiracy charges, Nicholson Jr., and Whitehead are charged with possession of cocaine and/or cocaine base during the conspiracy. Marshall Nicholson Jr. and his wife Gladys Nicholson are charged with providing their residence located at Allendale Drive, Palmer Park, Maryland as a place for the storage and distribution of controlled substances. Marshall Nicholson Jr., Gladys Nicholson, and Jeffrey Etheredge are charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. Gladys Nicholson is charged with three counts of money laundering for purchasing: a residence located at Dunbratton Court, Waldorf, Maryland; and two of her son's vehicles in her name with her son's drug proceeds. Jeffrey Etheredge is also charged with money laundering for purchasing a pickup truck with drug proceeds, but titling the vehicle in his name to disguise the identity of the true owner.

The indictment also alleges that the drug proceeds from the conspiracy were at least $1.5 million. The indictment seeks the forfeiture of the residences located at Dunbratton Court, Waldorf, Maryland and Allendale Drive, Palmer Park, Maryland, as well as numerous motor vehicles, jewelry and other personal property.

Each of the defendants face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $4million fine if convicted of the drug conspiracy charge. The money laundering charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $500,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. The case is presently scheduled for trial on February 23, 2004.

Marshall Nicholson, Jr., Whitehead, and Turner have been detained pending trial, and Etheredge and Marshall Nicholson Sr. have been released subject to certain pretrial conditions.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

Special Agent-in-Charge Laura Nagel stated that "the successful outcome of this investigation was only possible through the cooperation of the Prince George's County Police Department, the United States Attorney's Office and the DEA HIDTA task force.

The criminal charges in this indictment are the result of a joint investigation over 2 years by the Prince George's County Police Department, DEA HIDTA task force and the United States Attorney's Office.

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