Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison For Trafficking in Large-Scale Narcotics and Possession of a Firearm
Amir Gibreel, 30, of Northern Virginia, was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in prison for his role in a large-scale marijuana distribution enterprise.
On July 23, 2019, Gibreel pled guilty before the Honorable Rudolph Contreras in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of possessing with intent to distribute marijuana and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a person previously under felony indictment. As part of his plea, Gibreel accepted responsibility for running a marijuana business and possessing with intent to distribute over 80 pounds of marijuana. Gibreel’s conviction represents his third marijuana-related conviction.
According to the Government’s evidence, in the summer of 2018, law enforcement associated with the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force began investigating Gibreel for the illegal distribution of marijuana. Specifically, FBI learned that Gibreel was operating a website called JetpackDC. JetpackDC is a website that specifically sells marijuana through an online distribution system. Much like Uber Eats or other internet delivery services, a user would obtain contact information from the internet, and then contact a telephone number to coordinate the sale and drop-off of various packages of marijuana, ranging from small sales in the low-dollar amount, or high sales in the hundreds of dollars. FBI had learned that Gibreel operated stash houses to prepare and market his product. Specifically, FBI learned that Gibreel utilized Airbnb, a housing internet rental company, to store his marijuana. Gibreel and his associates were making $80,000 to $100,000 monthly.
In September and October of 2018, FBI conducted three separate controlled purchases to try to identify Gibreel’s Airbnb safe house. In each of those controlled purchases, the FBI utilized an undercover agent, posing as a marijuana consumer, to go to JetpackDC, contact the JetpackDC dispatcher, and order marijuana. Based on the controlled purchases and coordinated surveillance, FBI was able to identify two locations as possible premises associated with the distribution of marijuana: an Airbnb apartment used by Gibreel within D.C. and 230 Rhode Island Avenue N.E. (Gibreel’s leased apartment).
On October 30, 2018, FBI executed search warrants at both locations. Gibreel was present at the 18 N Street apartment, along with four other subjects who stated that they did not reside at the location. Law enforcement identified one of the persons present as one of the delivery drivers from the earlier controlled purchases.
During the search of the Airbnb., law enforcement found several of Gibreel’s personal belongings in an upstairs bedroom, including a blue backpack with the JetpackDC label. Inside of the backpack, law enforcement found several documents, mail matter, and notebooks belonging to Gibreel. In the same bedroom, law enforcement found approximately $17,230 in cash on the closet shelf, and another $1,939 in cash in the front right pocket of a pair of blue jeans that Gibreel identified as his own. On a folding table in the same room, law enforcement found Gibreel’s bankcard and $352 in cash. On the bed, law enforcement found two ledger books containing information pertaining to the sale of marijuana. In a second upstairs bedroom, law enforcement located multiple bins, cardboard boxes, and canisters containing various amounts of marijuana, a suitcase containing marijuana vape cartridges, and marijuana packaging materials, such as a label maker and heat-sealing equipment. In total, the approximate weight of the marijuana found in the second bedroom was 80 pounds, with a street value of over $100,000.
During the search of 230 Rhode Island Avenue N.E.—no one was present during the warrant’s execution—law enforcement found a black 9mm Springfield XD semi-automatic pistol (Serial No. US8499099), which contained 16 rounds of ammunition, in the sole bedroom.Underneath the firearm was mail matter addressed to Gibreel, $15,000 in cash, and medical cannabis stickers. In the kitchen, law enforcement also seized an extended magazine, marijuana packaging materials, grinders, four ledgers (containing information pertaining to marijuana sales in the thousands of dollars per day), bank statements, nine cell phones, additional mail matter, four laptops, a money counter, three tablets, and a bag containing JetpackDC paraphernalia. Law enforcement also recovered approximately 900 grams of marijuana from the kitchen and living room.
Both the firearm and ammunition possessed by Gibreel had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce and in fact, Gibreel had purchased the firearm through an intermediary in Northern Virginia.
Finally, on October 30, 2018,Gibreel was aware that on April 30, 2018, he had been indicted by a grand jury in Arlington County, Commonwealth of Virginia, in case number CR18000582 (Sale/Distribute Marijuana) and CR18000583 (Possession of a Controlled Substance). Both of the indicted charges are felony offenses in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and are punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year.