Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cops bust DC Fish Carryout for crack, neighbors launch petition to take away their liquor license

This is pretty crazy. Police and prosecutors says the DC Fish Carryout at 3475 14th Street NW was a crack den. Police searched the place and found a lot of crack, and arrested the owner and two others. Neighbors have launched a petition to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to revoke their license. Here's more from the various local listserves, with a link to the petition if you would like to sign.

Pretty weird -- you don't normally think of a fish carryout as a drug market or storehouse. 
Based on strong investigative leads, DC's Metropolitan Police Department executed a search warrant at the DC Fish Carryout, at 3475 14th Street NW. MPD found large quantities of crack cocaine on the premises.  The defendants were Suk "Bruce" In Hyun, 54, the owner of the DC Fish Carryout who holds a DC license to sell tobacco and alcoholic beverages. The other two defendants, Craig McKoy, 43 and Timothy Diablo Hill Jr, 24, have extensive criminal records. All three are being prosecuted by the US Attorney's Office, and felony convictions are expected in all three cases. 
A group of concerned citizens discussed this matter recently at a NWCHCA public meeting. As a result the president, Cecilia Jones, created a petition called Washington DC Alcoholic Beverage Control Board: Revoke the ABC License of the DC Fish Carryout. The goal is to collect at least 500 signatures, and we could really use your help. Please sign the petition.  It'll just take a minute! 
I am also personally writing a letter to the Chairperson of the ABC Board to lend my voice directly.  If you do too, the address for Ruthanne Miller is below.  Cecilia Jones is collecting letters, so please copy her at her email below. 
Ruthanne Miller 
ABC Board, Chairperson 
2000 14th St NW, Suite 400S 
WDC 20009 
--Cecilia Jones, President, Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association (NWCHCA) 
202-299-7868 (cell)www.nwchca.org 
"Join" NWCHCA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/147678969694/ 
Follow NWCHCA on Twitter: @nwchca_dc
I wrote back to Cecilia, asking about the petition. I was unclear what it was supposed to do, and here's her response. Interesting stuff. The defendants are mostly not in jail and may not serve much time, according to her.
Hi Andrew,

Only one of the defendants is currently in jail, and until they are convicted, they are innocent. Case docket is available online: https://www.dccourts.gov/cco/maincase.jsf

The owner, Suk In Hyun, is out on Personal Recognizance. He's back in his restaurant, which is open and earning. His ABC license has not been suspended, so it's business-as-usual.

One of the two co-defendants, Craig McKoy is being held in jail; he has another open felony case and had been in bench warrant status.

Timothy Diablo Hill, the third co-defendant is currently in bench warrant status, meaning that he was on PR, and did not show up for his last court date. He is currently "on-the-loose" -- could be anywhere.

[fyi: bench warrants are a widespread problem; DC Superior Courts has nearly 400 felons currently in bench warrant status and 11,000 of all types, including traffic, misdemeanors, and domestic. Some bench warrants date back to 2009 or earlier, and there is no systematic mechanism to bring these known criminals to justice. It makes a joke of our entire system.]

Even with a felony conviction, it is very likely that the owner will get a suspended sentence (no jail time). It's his first offense. There is a very strong possibility that the drug trade at the DC Fish Carryout, possibly including money laundering, could continue, and the liquor license would contribute. I fully expect the ABC board to revoke the license, but an ABRA investigator came to the last NWCHCA Public Forum where we discussed our options for DC Fish Carryout, and he said a petition to the ABC Board would help.

A petition will also raise community awareness, and help me identify those who are interested in eradicating the crack cocaine trade from our neighborhood and who are willing to take actions.

Next, we will address the the criminal cases by writing community impact statements to the judge, Michael Ryan (traditionally very lenient, hates to send defendants to jail.) I doubt any of the 3 defendants will get more than 18 months of jail time; they could all be out very soon, with credit for time served.



  1. Best fish in the city!

  2. Update from Cecilia:

    So close to 500 signatures! Have you signed the petition yet? If not, please sign! Reaching 500 signatures would be a significant milestone! We are now at 419--thank you to everyone who has signed so far!

    So, please sign, if you haven't already, then e-mail the link to your neighborhood listseves, and share it on Facebook and Twitter.

    Now is the time! The first ABC hearing will be next week.

    Read updates, supporters' comments, see the news clip, and more: http://www.change.org/petitions/washington-dc-alcoholic-beverage-control-board-revoke-the-abc-license-of-the-dc-fish-carryout

  3. Quick update from Cecilia:

    We just reached the goal of 500 petition signatures!!! AWESOME!!!

    The three defendants were convicted and two have been sentenced. The owner will be sentenced on 1/18/13 and the ABC Board's hearing on liquor license revocation will be 2/13/13. You can submit a community impact statement for the judge's consideration at sentencing. Please go to the petition page for more information: http://www.change.org/petitions/washington-dc-alcoholic-beverage-control-board-revoke-the-abc-license-of-the-dc-fish-carryout

  4. its funny how people want to revoke peoples lively hood, because of a mistake, yall not the one starting a business, or doing anything to keep black owned business in the community. 500 signatures in the neighborhood of people that aint doing nothing to represent or help the community in any other way, drugs been on this earth for centuries and will be here after we dead and gone, instead of pointing the finger, you need to point the finger at each other, to keep drugs out of your families household

  5. I don't understand your point. The business was owned by an Asian American, and I would bet that the people signing the petition aren't doing the drugs, or they wouldn't be opposed to the place.


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