22 Arrested After Drug Trafficking Bust Wednesday

Joint investigation results in 22 arrests, 11 firearms recovered

176
Mayor Muriel Bowser prepares to speak at a May 36 press conference. Screenshot [detail] Facebook/@MayorMurielBowser

More than 20 people were arrested for activity linked to drug trafficking in the District, officials announced Thursday. 

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) hosted a press conference May 26 to provide updates about a joint investigative operation in Northwest DC. The nearly year-long investigation into drug trafficking and violence, operation ‘uptown express’ was conducted Wednesday afternoon and resulted in the arrests of 22 individuals and 11 seized firearms. 

“MPD and our federal partners have done their part by making these arrests,” Bowser said, calling for accountability in the courts. “Now it’s time for the rest of the justice system to assure that those who harm and bring violence to our communities are held accountable.”

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Inspector Lashay Makal, Criminal Division Chief at the United States Attorney’s Office John Crabb, and Special Agent in Charge at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office Wayne Jacobs also attended the conference. 

The indictment alleges that the drug trafficking organization has been in operation since the summer of 2021 near (Seventh and O Streets NW). The organization has allegedly operated in the neighborhoods of Shaw, Truxton and LeDroit Park. Investigators recovered fentanyl, crack cocaine, firearms, assorted ammunition and gun magazines and large sums of currency. 

Bowser emphasized that federal partnerships were “critical to making our neighborhoods safer” and expressed gratitude to all of the law enforcement partners, particularly the violence reduction unit, who worked to make these arrests possible.  

Jacobs said that as a result of the efforts of various agencies across the city, the community is safer today. He emphasized the importance of holding individuals who bring violence to the District accountable for their actions. 

One suspect, Wesley Hilliard, has been indicted but is not yet in custody. MPD is asking any individual with information about his whereabouts to contact them at (202-727-9099) or text their anonymous tip line at (50411). 

Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter at Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.