D.C. police and federal authorities said Friday that they have broken up an organization that supplied heroin to some of the District’s most drug-plagued neighborhoods, seizing guns and a luxury sports car made in Italy.
Authorities said they seized more than 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of heroin, worth an estimated $2.5 million wholesale. Police said they found six handguns inside one suspect’s residence in Northeast Washington.
“When guns and drugs meet, violent crime erupts,” said Thomas Chittum, the special agent in charge of the Washington field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “In this case, we had plenty of both.”
Chittum was joined by D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham and Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) at a news conference at the 6th District police station in Northeast, where they said the group had sold drugs in communities along Alabama and Minnesota avenues and Naylor and Good Hope roads.
Bowser said that “because we have removed this heroin from the streets, we know for a fact we have saved lives.” She described the seizure as one of the largest in the D.C. area in recent memory.
Newsham said the undercover operation ran for several months and involved police from the District and agents from the FBI and ATF. He said an ATF agent went undercover and bought nine firearms, 1,500 grams of marijuana and 270 grams of heroin.
Authorities executed three simultaneous raids on Dec. 19 — arresting one suspect in Fairfax County, Va., and searching a residence in Northeast Washington and a business in Prince George’s County, Md. During the raids, Newsham said, authorities seized more than 40 kilograms of heroin, six handguns, a drug press and a Maserati sports car.
Police did not disclose the arrest on Dec. 19 because they were still looking for a second suspect. Newsham said that man, Linwood Douglas Thorne, 46, of Northeast, was arrested Thursday in Baltimore. He was charged federally with several drug and firearm counts. Authorities did not identify the man arrested in Virginia.