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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Columbia
For Immediate Release
Matthew M. Graves, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-dc
Monday, April 3, 2023

Convicted Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 30 Years for Trafficking Nearly 150 Pounds of Drugs, Including Heroin, Fentanyl, and Marijuana

WASHINGTON – Linwood Douglas Thorne, 51, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in a large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy that resulted in one of the largest seizures of heroin in the District of Columbia’s history. The sentence, handed down March 31, 2023, by U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell, was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, FBI Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs, of the Washington Field Office Criminal and Cyber Divisions, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Weddel, of the Washington Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

On March 25, 2022, a jury found Thorne guilty of conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and a firearms charge.

“This sentence should send a clear message to all those who would even consider operating a large-scale drug network: doing so will result in you possibly spending the rest of your life in jail,” said U.S. Attorney Graves. “We have zero tolerance for those looking to poison our communities with massive amounts of drugs—particularly when the drug trafficking involves firearms.”

“This joint investigation, which resulted in one of the largest seizures of heroin in our city's history, is a testament to the strength of our federal and local partnerships,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jacobs. “The Washington Field Office's Safe Streets Task Force remains committed to pursuing criminals who traffic in drugs and guns. Let the defendant's sentence serve as a reminder of the consequences traffickers face for putting people's lives in danger.”

“Today’s announcement sends an accountability message not only to those who traffic deadly drugs and illegal firearms, but to the families of victims as well. ATF stands with our law enforcement partners to say, violent acts will cost and will be addressed accordingly,” said ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Weddel. “We reaffirm our commitment to holding those that attempt to destroy our communities responsible for their illegal and dangerous actions.”

In 2018, the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force began investigating Thorne, as a major heroin supplier. On Dec. 19, 2018, the FBI and ATF executed simultaneous search warrants on Thorne’s Maryland business and D.C. residence, finding 44 kilograms of heroin laced with fentanyl; 55 pounds of marijuana; five firearms; and significant drug paraphernalia. In addition to the search warrants, the task force’s investigation—which began in July of 2018—has led to the recovery of eight additional firearms, approximately 1.5 additional kilograms of marijuana, 260 additional grams of heroin, and several firearms magazines and accessories.

During trial, the government presented over a dozen civilian and law enforcement witnesses, along with digital and business records establishing and corroborating the defendant’s guilt.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Weddel commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI and ATF, as well as those from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) who were on the Safe Streets Task Force, and the United States Marshals Service. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by joint law enforcement and prosecution partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Rosen, as well as Paralegal Specialist Alexis Spencer-Anderson of the Capitol Siege and Federal Major Crimes Section, and former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon Regan, Samuel Frey, and Andrea Duvall.

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