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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Columbia
Matthew M. Graves, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, July 15, 2022

District of Columbia Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Conspiracy To Distribute Narcotics and Use Firearms

Defendant Admitted to Armed Drug Dealing as Part of a “Street Crew” in Southeast Washington

WASHINGTON – Steven Phillips, Jr., 28, of Washington D.C. was sentenced today to five years in federal prison for his role in an ongoing conspiracy to distribute narcotics and a related conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Phillips was the fifth defendant to plead guilty for his role in the charged conspiracies.

The announcement was made by 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 U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Phillips is one of more than a dozen individuals arrested as part of a joint FBI/ATF investigation which resulted in the seizure of more than 34 pounds of marijuana, 16 firearms, and more than $270,000 in cash.

Phillips, who utilized the street nickname “33,” pleaded guilty on April 12, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, as well as oxycodone and codeine. As part of his plea agreement, Phillips admitted to participating in a separate conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms. Phillips was sentenced by the Honorable Amy Berman Jackson. Following completion of his prison term, Phillips will be placed on four years of supervised release.

According to the government’s evidence, beginning in approximately June 2018, and continuing through April 2021, Phillips and his co-conspirators maintained drug dealing territory on Trenton Place SE in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. – a territory they defended by carrying, and discharging, firearms at perceived rivals.  As part of his role in the conspiracy, Phillips distributed narcotics in street-level transactions and served as an armed defender of the co-conspirators’ drug dealing territory.  Phillips encouraged his co-conspirators to pool their money to buy as many firearms as possible for use in defending their territory and, as part of the conspiracy possessed and trafficked in firearms which he sold and offered for sale to his co-conspirators and others. As part of his sentence, Phillips agreed to forfeit a Glock, Model 45, 9mm semi-automatic handgun, a high-capacity magazine, and 31 rounds of ammunition, all of which were seized from the defendant.

Phillips was arrested on Sept. 3, 2020. He has been detained ever since.

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 from the FBI and ATF. They also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Genevieve de Guzman, Kim Hall, and Teesha Tobias. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney James B. Nelson, who investigated and prosecuted the case, with assistance from former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin Vaillancourt and Christopher Berridge.


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