Two Maryland Men Charged in Gun Trafficking Scheme

   Kofi Appiah-Mainoo, 30, of Temple Hills, Maryland, and James Hutchings, Jr., 38, of Waldorf, Maryland, were arrested on November 5, 2019, on a federal charge stemming from an ongoing investigation into the trafficking of firearms into the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

The charges were filed in an indictment unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The investigation began after law enforcement recovered multiple firearms in a residence located at 4215 Foote Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. on December 19, 2018. Along with the firearms, law enforcement seized more than 44 kilograms of heroin laced with fentanyl, more than 50 pounds of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia located throughout the home. Linwood Douglas Thorne, of Northeast, Washington, D.C. was arrested in connection with that incident and is charged by indictment in a separate case.

Law enforcement continued to investigate the source of the firearms and determined that three of the firearms were purchased earlier in 2018 in Columbus, Georgia. ATF and FBI determined that Appiah, a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, purchased the firearms, coordinated their transfer to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and sold them to Hutchings, Jr., who acted as a courier once the firearms were brought north. Hutchings, Jr., a person previously convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year, is considered a prohibited person and is legally prohibited from possessing any firearm.

           “This investigation is another example of our determination to disrupt and prosecute the trafficking of guns and drugs into the District of Columbia,” said U.S. Attorney Liu. “Through this coordinated law enforcement effort, we were able to remove deadly narcotics from the street and identify firearms traffickers who enable such dangerous conduct.”