November 12, 2022 – Legendary Washington D.C. drug kingpin Rayful Edmond will be free in less than two and a half years due to a federal judge’s sentence-reduction ruling, the second such ruling to come down in the past two years.
Edmond was Washington D.C.’s biggest, most notorious dope peddler in history. He ruled the District’s crack trade of the late 1980s with flash and panache, leaving waves of violence and a colossal reputation on the streets in his wake. In 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan reduced his life sentence to 20 years on the case that sent him to prison because of his cooperation. Specifically, Sullivan cited Edmond helping the DEA solve three murders as the impetus for his decision.
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann trimmed his 30-year term for narcotics in prison in the first half of the 1990s down to 24, three less than he originally decided back in April. The 56-year old Edmond has already done 33 years behind bars. Brann ordered him released by the beginning of 2025 in his written opinion.
Lawyers for Edmond were pushing Judges Sullivan and Brann to let Edmond out immediately via a time-served ruling. The U.S. Attorneys Office opposed releasing Edmond now, however, signed off on the second sentence reduction.
Edmond was arrested and locked up in April 1989. When he was busted brokering a $200,000,000 cocaine deal with Colombian Cartel members in 1994 from his Pennsylvania prison cell, he began cooperating with authorities. As part of his plea deal two years later, prosecutors dropped the homicides from his earlier case and got his life sentence
Edmond’s iconic reign on the streets of D.C. lasted roughly five years in which the DEA estimated he cleared 50 million dollars in profits. Superstar rappers Jay-Z, Meek Mill and Rick Ross have all name-checked Edmond in their lyrics, cementing his mythical-like status beyond the borders of the Beltway. The Washington Post printed more than 300 articles on Edmond’s indictment and trial between 1989 and 1992.