70 Arrested in Drugs, Firearms Investigation

Police set up fake recording studio

A year-long undercover operation resulted in 70 arrests and removed millions of dollars in drugs and firearms from the streets, D.C. police said.

In Operation Manic Enterprises, undercover detectives purchased drugs and guns at a phony recording studio, police said. An undercover sergeant posed as the head of an international chain of recording studios.

“Word gets around pretty quickly, and it didn’t take very long for the operation to be operating at a pretty high level,” Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

The operation, which began in November 2010 and continued through last month, netted about 80 pounds of methamphetamine, 9.6 kilograms of cocaine, 1.25 gallons of PCP, 23.5 pounds of marijuana, heroin, MDMA/ecstasy and 161 firearms, including 29 assault weapons. One of the suspects, Christopher Washington, offered to sell grenades and rocket launchers, News4’s Derrick Ward reported.

The seized items have a street value of more than $7.1 million, police said.

Police closed many violent crimes with the arrests. Authorities are testing the weapons to learn what crimes they may be connected to.

“If these drugs and guns had made it to our streets, the impact would have been devastating to community,” Lanier said. “This was an extremely dangerous operation. These suspects had bragged about other violent crimes they had committed and had no qualms about killing police officers, guards and other innocent people.”

The operation also uncovered a connection to a Mexican drug cartel trying to establish a presence in D.C., Ward reported. The seized meth was from an attempt to expand the trafficking of that drug in D.C.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Agency; the FBI; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and the United State’s Attorney’s Office assisted in the operation.

Contact Us