Two DC-Area Men Plead Guilty to Drug Charges Connected to an Open-Air Drug Market in SE DC

Two DC-Area Men Plead Guilty to Drug Charges Connected to an Open-Air Drug Market in SE DC

All Six Charged Defendants Have Now Entered Guilty Pleas

            WASHINGTON – Douglas Campbell, 27, of District Heights, Maryland, and his brother Delonte Campbell, 27, of Southeast Washington D.C., pleaded guilty today, in U.S. District Court, to felony charges in connection with their roles in an open-air drug market.

            Douglas Campbell pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Delonte Campbell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute a controlled substance, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. Sentencing for both defendants is set for August 3, 2023.

            The brothers are among six defendants charged with operating an open-air drug market at the Shell Gas Station located at 4700 South Capitol Street SE. According to court documents, law enforcement had observed individuals, including the six defendants charged, operating an open-air drug market at the Shell Gas Station. The gas station drew individuals who conducted daily drug transactions in the parking lot and surrounding area of the gas station, often while armed with firearms. The Shell Gas Station was the scene of increased violence suspected to be connected to drug trafficking in the months leading up to the defendants’ arrests.

            The Campbells and their co-defendants trafficked narcotics at the Shell Gas Station through hand gestures and social media advertisements. Once a potential customer was procured, these individuals often measured and distributed controlled substances to their customers in plain view. The defendants sold alongside each other, coordinated sales with each other, and were in frequent communication through telephone and social media messaging, coordinating their activities with the goal of selling marijuana to customers at the Shell while securing their narcotics and drug trafficking proceeds with firearms, often carrying weapons in plain view.

            Each of the six defendants charged for their role in the conspiracy have now pleaded guilty.  Lavon Alphonso Blakeney, 28, of Southeast Washington D.C., and David Ashton, 24, of Hyattsville, Maryland, each pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Keonte Obatunde Lorenzo Lewis, 20, of Southeast Washington D.C., pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and carrying a pistol without a license. Finally, Tyrell Davon Jones, 28, of Temple Hills, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute a controlled substance and carrying a pistol without a license.  All are awaiting sentencing.

            The charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment to be imposed. The possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of one year imprisonment to be imposed. The charge of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. The charge of carrying a pistol without a license carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. A federal district court judge will determine the appropriate sentence after considering the guideline ranges and other factors.

            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew W. Kinskey and former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Stewart of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses Section (VRTO) of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office’s Safe Streets Cross Border Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ Washington High Intensity Drug Trafficking Group, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Field Division, and the Metropolitan Police Department.

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