Prosecutors Seek Early Release for Notorious Drug Kingpin

Police have said that Edmond, now 54, helped fuel D.C.'s crack epidemic in the 1980s

Prosecutors will request that notorious drug lord Rayful Edmond III be released from prison early in an unprecedented hearing Tuesday.

Edmond is set to appear at a hearing via phone or video conference.

Police have said that Edmond, now 54, helped fuel D.C.'s crack epidemic in the 1980s. Notorious for leading a major cocaine trafficking ring in D.C. from about 1985 to 1989, he is currently serving a life sentence without parole for drug-related charges.

But prosecutors say Edmond's cooperation with police since the late 1990s led to to a recommendation that his sentence be reduced.

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

Edmond's cooperation "... ranged from assisting in the conviction of extremely violent individuals, to assisting in the conviction of ongoing narcotics trafficking to assisting in the institution of prison reforms," according to the court filing that resulted in Tuesday's hearing.

 "If you would have told me back then that we would still be talking about this now, I would have told you, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" the D.C. police officer who went undercover with Edmond's organization told NBC Washington. "This was just a done deal."

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According to court documents, the judge ordered federal prosecutors to brief him on how to obtain the victim impact statements that are permitted when a sentence reduction is being considered. But, 30 years later, many of the victims are dead. Other victims were newborn babies born to crack-addicted mothers who abandoned them at the hospital.

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