For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. Man Sentenced to More Than 11 Years in Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Synthetic Cannabinoids
Possessed a Loaded Gun in Furtherance of the Drug Conspiracy; Confronted an Individual About Theft of Drug Proceeds, Whom a Co-Conspirator Then Stabbed and Murdered
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore C. Chuang today sentenced Nathaniel Michael Worthy, age 47, of Washington, D.C., to 135 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Washington Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief Peter Newsham of the Metropolitan Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy.
According to Worthy’s plea agreement, from at least January 1, 2016 through February 9, 2019, he conspired with others, including Carjandario Danielle Yarborough, to distribute synthetic cannabinoids and other controlled substances and controlled substance analogues. Controlled substance analogues are substances that are chemically manufactured to mimic and create a “high” similar to other drugs. Worthy, Yarborough, and their co-conspirators obtained synthetic cannabinoids, known by various names, including “Salt” and “Black Bag,” and sold them in Maryland and other locations, including the District of Columbia and Virginia. Worthy and his co-conspirators obtained cash from the drug sales and possessed firearms in furtherance of the conspiracy. Worthy and his co-conspirators routinely rented hotel rooms and vehicles to distribute the synthetic cannabinoids.
On September 29 and September 30, 2016, Worthy and Yarborough rented hotel rooms in Temple Hills, Maryland, to prepare and distribute synthetic cannabinoids. While at the hotel, Worthy and Yarborough believed that another co-conspirator, Victim 1, had stolen money from them in connection with the sale of synthetic cannabinoids. When Worthy confronted Victim 1 about the suspected theft, Yarborough stabbed Victim 1 in the chest with a knife, killing him.
After Victim 1 was killed, Worthy and another co-conspirator removed synthetic cannabinoids and drug proceeds from the hotel room. After the co-conspirators left the hotel room where Victim 1 had been killed, Yarborough called 911 and falsely reported that she had killed Victim 1 in self-defense.
On January 4 and February 2, 2017, Worthy and co-conspirators rented hotel rooms in Arlington, Virginia, and College Park, Maryland, respectively, and possessed synthetic cannabinoids intended for distribution, as well as items to facilitate distribution of these substances. Specifically, on January 4, 2017, Worthy possessed a loaded 9mm pistol in furtherance of the drug conspiracy and on February 2, 2017, he possessed packaging materials and $4,752.18 in cash, which was the proceeds from the sales of the synthetic cannabinoids.
On January 30, 2018, Worthy and Yarborough sold synthetic cannabinoids to a law enforcement officer. On February 9, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the residence where Worthy and Yarborough lived. Law enforcement recovered synthetic cannabinoids intended for distribution, a different 9mm pistol, a .25-caliber pistol, and $1,640.79 in cash, which was generated from the sale of synthetic cannabinoids.
Carjandario Danielle Yarborough, age 35, of Washington, D.C, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on July 2, 2019, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues, and for murder in furtherance of the conspiracy.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF, the DEA, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and recognized Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore and the Arlington County Police Department for their assistance. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Moomau and Gregory D. Bernstein, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.
# # #