Indictment Charges Alleged Members of Drug Trafficking Organization in Drug, Gun and Money Laundering Charges
Kennedy Street Crew (KDY) Operated Open-Air Drug Markets in Kennedy Street Neighborhood, Scene of Increasing Violence, in Northwest Washington D.C.
U.S. Attorney Graves, MPD Interim Chief Ashan Benedict, DEA Acting ASAC Jennifer Sweeder, ATF SAC Craig, FBI Acting SAC Sarah Linden, IRS-CI Acting SAC
WASHINGTON – This morning, law enforcement agents from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) arrested 12 alleged members of a violent drug trafficking organization (“DTO”), known as the “Kennedy Street Crew,” or “KDY,” on charges including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, possession of firearms by persons convicted of a crime, assault with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. In addition to the arrests, law enforcement seized multiple firearms and drugs.
The case was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Interim Chief Ashan Benedict of the Metropolitan Police Department, DEA Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget, of the Washington Division, ATF Special Agent in Charge Craig Kailimai, of the Washington Division, FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Sarah Linden, of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division, and IRS-Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Kareem A. Carter, of the Washington, D.C. Office.
According to the indictment, KDY members operated open-air drug markets in and around the 100-1200 blocks of Kennedy Street in Northwest Washington, D.C., as well as the surrounding streets. The named defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute several controlled substances, including fentanyl, cocaine base and marijuana, and utilizing firearms, including fully automatic weapons, to enforce and protect the crew’s territory, including through intimidation and acts of violence. The indictment further alleges that KDY crew members conspired to establish shell companies through which they launder the proceeds of their drug trafficking. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized more than 40 firearms (including eight suspected machineguns).
“As alleged in the Indictment, the Kennedy Street Crew (KDY) operated over an 11-block stretch, trafficking in large amounts of drugs and firearms and possessing numerous firearms in furtherance of its operations,” said U.S. Attorney Graves. “Criminal organizations like this are a magnet for violence. My office, MPD, and our federal law enforcement partners are focused on identifying and rooting out these types of operations: whether it be Fentanyl poisonings or the violence that typically accompanies large-scale drug operations, these distribution networks present a substantial threat to our community.”
“Our strong partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies allows us to hold violent gang members like these accountable for their actions,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Forget. “Ultimately, our goal is to ensure the safety of the families in our local area. As part of our initiative Operation Overdrive, we are making a difference in our communities, reducing drug poisonings, cutting violent crime, and stopping violent drug traffickers in their tracks.”
“These individuals were a part of a criminal enterprise that existed to disrupt the community through violence and illegal activity, and today’s operation is evidence that intelligence-led policing and effective criminal justice partnerships can lead to positive outcomes in the District of Columbia,” said MPD Interim Chief Benedict. “The residents and businesses along our Kennedy Street corridor are safer because of the meticulous investigative efforts by law enforcement who relentlessly protect every city neighborhood.”
In addition to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, and a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, the indictment also charges various alleged members of the conspiracy with, among other charges, assault with a dangerous weapon; using, carrying, and possessing a firearm and/or machinegun during a drug trafficking offense; engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license; unlawful possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a crime; possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number; and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation seeking all proceeds of the alleged crimes. A full list of defendants, along with their corresponding charges, is contained below.
“This investigation is the result of multiple law enforcement entities working cohesively towards one common goal. That goal is disrupting criminal organizations and protecting our communities from firearms related violence, and the illegal distribution of narcotics,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Kailimai. “As seen by our combined efforts with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, this collaboration has led to the arrest of many individuals that continuously and carelessly disrupt the peace that we should all enjoy. ATF will continue to partner with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure that people who violate conditions of firearm ownership be prosecuted and held accountable for their actions.”
“IRS-CI is proud to stand with our law enforcement partners to announce this indictment. The dismantling of the Kennedy Street Crew exemplifies our commitment to improve the quality of life in our community and our relentless fight against drug trafficking organizations,” said Acting IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Carter. “IRS-CI is specially equipped to follow the complex financial trail left by criminals, and we are dedicated to holding those accountable for crimes committed.”
The investigation of this case had the sponsorship and support of the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF specializes in the investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises.
This case is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department, the DEA’s Washington Division, ATF’s Washington Field Division, with assistance from FBI’s Washington Field Office, and the IRS-Criminal Investigation Washington, D.C. Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew W. Kinskey and Sitara Witanachchi, of the of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by former Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Lynch.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.