Prosecutors Request Reduced Sentence for Notorious DC Drug Lord Rayful Edmond

His cooperation in prosecuting others has been "both deep and wide," prosecutors say

Prosecutors requested the man credited with spurring the 1980s crack epidemic in Washington, D.C., get a reduced sentence.

Rayful Edmond III is notorious for leading a major cocaine trafficking ring in D.C. from about 1985 to 1989.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in D.C. filed a motion to reduce Edmond's life sentence Friday, saying he has cooperated with authorities by providing testimony and information in narcotics and homicide investigations for years.

Prosecutors said in the motion the court should still consider the gravity of Edmond's past crimes.

"The defendant stands convicted of having run one of our city's largest and most destructive narcotics distribution operations. And, after having been convicted of that, he went on to run a large scale narcotics distribution operation from prison," the motion says.

Edmond and his partners distributed hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and generated millions of dollars in profit.

Members of Edmond's ring used intimidation and violence, authorities say.

"At his arrest in 1989 at age 24, Edmond was reported to have introduced crack cocaine to the District, controlled 20 percent of the city’s cocaine trade and booked up to $1 million in profits a week. His network’s enforcers were linked to 30 killings," the Washington Post reported in 2015, when a judge considered whether to lower the sentence of one of Edmond's top associates, Melvin Butler.

The judge denied early release for Butler and James Antonio Jones, another top associated of Edmond's.

Retired D.C. homicide detective Mitch Credle was a uniformed officer during Edmond's violent rise to power. 

“When the guys here in D.C. learned how to cook and make crack cocaine, everything just exploded,” Credle said.

Credle is working on a documentary called "12 Years in Hell" that will focus on the violence and murder that consumed the city during the 80s and 90s.

He said it was after Edmond's arrest that D.C. gained the title of "Murder Capital of the United States." 

"Everyone wants to claim that throne and everyone wants to make the money that's not being made through his organization and the violence kept picking up, kept picking up, kept picking up," Credle said. "It was almost, like, a nonstop thing as homicide detectives."

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