Members of a major drug ring sold cocaine, marijuana and MDMA in front of bars and restaurants in Arlington, Virginia -- and 10 people are now in jail, police said.
Arlington County police recently concluded an investigation that put officers undercover for seven months in the Clarendon neighborhood, police said.
Detectives posed as drug buyers, purchasing cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana, police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said.
“They were outside the restaurants all along the Clarendon area," Savage said.
Search warrants say drug-related meet-ups regularly occurred at the bar and restaurant Whitlow's on Wilson, located two blocks east of the Clarendon Metro station. Two of the suspects worked there, police said.
The workers were part-time employees that Whitlow's "distanced ourselves from some time ago," manager Jon Williams said in an email.
"It was shocking, disappointing and frustrating to hear that any of this activity took place around our business and the neighborhood," he said. "Our team cooperated to the fullest extent possible when contacted by the ACPD about this investigation, which included most of the bars in Clarendon."
Nine suspects -- eight men and one woman who range in age from 22 to 32 -- were hit with various drug charges. The suspects are from Alexandria, Arlington and Woodbridge:
- Kyle Bailey, 22, of Arlington, distribution of marijuana
- Michael Bramlett, 32, of Arlington, distribution of cocaine
- Benjamin Lee Callender, 31, of Woodbridge, distribution of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine
- Victoriano Castro Reyes, 26, of Woodbridge, distribution of marijuana and child endangerment
- Amanda Mantanona, 24, of Woodbridge, child endangerment and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana
- Omar Small, 22, of Arlington, distribution of marijuana
- Joshua Swinton, 28, of Arlington, distribution of marijuana and possession with the intent to distribut marijuana
- Justin Terrell, 30, of Alexandria, distribution of cocaine and MDMA
- Daryl Villanueva, 29 of Arlington, distribution of cocaine and MDMA
A tenth person was arrested after police say "undercover officers began to receive death threats and threats of severe bodily harm." The source of the threats was identified as Tesfayie Tesfa, 29, of Alexandria. He was charged with obstruction of justice and sending death threats by text.
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"If this person is going to threaten people that they know to be officers, they're clearly a dangerous individual and we're allowed to have them off the street," Savage said.
Officers will continue to patrol Clarendon, the police spokeswoman said.
“We really want to make sure that our nightlife area in Arlington County is a safe one," she said.