More than $2 million in drugs, cash, furs and jewelry found in the Southeast Washington house where a man was gunned down Wednesday indicate the victim was one of the city's biggest drug dealers, D.C. police said yesterday.
"We knew of him, but we didn't know his magnitude," an officer said of Joseph M. McCray, 31.
Arrested in 1981 on charges of possession of heroin, marijuana and hashish, McCray had been considered a small-time drug dealer in Southeast by police.
But a black address book and "extensive records" found during a search of McCray's home indicate he had an elaborate network of drug and other contacts in this country and abroad, police said.
Five ounces of uncut Persian beige heroin, with an estimated street value of about $1.2 million, and 2 1/2 ounces of cocaine, worth about $100,000, were also found in McCray's house at 2005 32nd Place SE, police said.
He was "probably one of the largest drug dealers in the Northeast and Southeast" areas of the city, according to police, who said McCray's slaying appears to be drug-related.
McCray was found about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday lying in the front yard of his house by neighbors, who said they had heard several gunshots.
Police said McCray's assailant, dressed as a mail carrier and carrying a small package, walked up the front steps of McCray's home and rang the doorbell.
When McCray, who police said was at home with his 10-month-old son, answered the door, the man stepped inside and opened fire from a handgun.
McCray tried to run from the house, and the gunman fired at least two more shots while standing on the steps, striking McCray in the back. He died about 4 p.m. at Greater Southeast Community Hospital. The infant was not harmed.
The gunman fled into a wooded area and escaped in a waiting car that was apparently driven by another man, police said. No arrests have been made.
Police said blood-stained articles of clothing that appeared to be from a mail carrier's uniform were found near McCray's home.
Officers who searched his home said they were amazed at what they found. "He had as much jewelry as any store downtown," a spokesman from the 7th Police District said, including Rolex watches, gold chains, diamond rings, 10-, 5-, and 1-ounce gold bars and a bar of silver. The value of the jewelry was at least $300,000.
Police also found six handguns of various caliber, one rifle, one shotgun and a small amount of ammunition, he said.
About $400,000 was found in various hiding places aound the three-bedroom, two-story house, the spokesman said, including $265,000 discovered in a large box and $100,000 of mildewed bills found in a safe.
Police also said they found about $150,000 worth of new clothing, including at least 75 leather jackets and about five mink coats. Also found were a small number of food stamps and 25,000 20-cent postage stamps.
A police spokesman said records found in the home will probably lead to a larger investigation that may involve the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the IRS, the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the District's corporation counsel, all of whom have expressed an interest in the case.
According to the records, McCray recently made a number of trips to Egypt and made weekly visits to New York, in addition to frequent excursions to Las Vegas. Telephone records show he made numerous calls to the West Coast, police said.