Previously Convicted Killer from Maryland Sentenced to 19.5 Years for Drug Trafficking in D.C. and Discharging a Machinegun

WASHINGTON – Trenton Robinson, 28, of District Heights, Maryland, was sentenced today to 234 months in prison for his role as an enforcer for a D.C. street crew whose members distributed more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, as well as oxycodone and codeine, and used, carried, brandished, and discharged firearms during their drug trafficking crimes in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Southeast Washington, D.C. 

            The sentencing was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Scott of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division, Special Agent in Charge Craig Kailimai of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division, and Chief Pamela A. Smith, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). 

            “This drug trafficker used a machine gun to spray bullets in the direction of a car passing through his drug dealing territory,” said U.S. Attorney Graves. “The hail of gunfire, which injured one person, miraculously did not kill anyone. Federally prosecuting those who, like this defendant, are driving violence is critical to protecting our community.” 

            “Robinson not only distributed drugs but also used illegal firearms to fend off perceived threats to his co-conspirators and what they claimed as their territory,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Scott. “His lengthy sentence is the result of coordination between the FBI and our federal and local partners. We will continue to counter violent crime as a team to ensure that we prevail in bringing violent recidivists to justice.”

            “This individual will learn a costly lesson as he serves a lengthy prison sentence. The usage of machine guns on our streets is sadly something that has gained much more traction since 2020,” said ATF Special Agent in Chargeailimai. “We hope that sentences such as this will serve as a deterrence to others seeking to possess and use illegal firearms more specifically machine gun conversion devices/ switches in our communities. We will continue to work alongside our partners to ensure that individuals like Robinson are held accountable for their actions.”

            Robinson, aka “Zulu,” pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson on October 24, 2023, to one count of brandishing a firearm in relation to drug trafficking, and one count of discharging a firearm in relation to drug trafficking. In addition to the 19.5-year prison sentence, Judge Berman Jackson ordered Robinson to serve five years of supervised release.

            Robinson, who regularly carried a fully automatic AR-Pistol machinegun, admitted as part of his plea agreement that he discharged that machinegun at the driver of a vehicle passing through the crew’s drug dealing territory on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020. He also admitted that he and his crew possessed between 25 and 99 firearms between June of 2019 and September of 2020.

            Robinson committed the charged crimes while he was on supervised parole for second degree murder in Montgomery County. On December 21, 2010, Robinson and an accomplice murdered a 19-year old man while attempting to rob him. 

            This case was investigated by the FBI, ATF, and MPD. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James B. Nelson.

Updated April 5, 2024