Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Maryland Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Firearms Trafficking Conspiracy
Two Others Also Convicted in Case
WASHINGTON – James Hutchings Jr., 41, of Waldorf, Maryland, was sentenced today to five years in prison on a firearms trafficking conspiracy charge, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, and Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Hutchings was found guilty by a jury in May 2022, following a trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell. Following his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.
The conspiracy underpinning the verdict and sentence began in 2018, when Hutchings helped facilitate the transfer of multiple firearms into the hands of a convicted felon and narcotics trafficker, Linwood Douglas Thorne, 50, of Washington, D.C. Hutchings worked with his firearms supplier, a straw purchaser named Kofi Appiah, 33, of Temple Hills, Maryland, to help purchase the firearms in the state of Georgia and transport them into the District of Columbia.
At trial, the government presented a myriad of digital evidence, showcasing the defendant’s involvement in the conspiracy, to include his purchase orders of firearms, his online payment process, and his extensive connections with Thorne’s enterprise. The jury quickly returned a guilty verdict based on the evidence.
Appiah was previously sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment as a result of his role in this conspiracy, and Thorne awaits sentencing after a jury convicted him of his narcotics trafficking enterprise. Thorne faces up to life in prison.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Special Agent in Charge Patterson commended the work of those who investigated the case, including those from the ATF and FBI. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, Prince George’s County, Md. Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. Additionally, they commended the work of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, which assisted in the arrest of Appiah, in 2019.
Finally, they expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Rosen, who indicted and prosecuted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Frey, who tried the case alongside Paralegal Specialist Alexis Spencer-Anderson. They also acknowledged the work of former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon Regan and Andrea Duvall, who assisted in the case.