|Rayful Edmond III|
|Born||Rayful Edmond III
November 26, 1964
|Other names||Ray, Mr.Dunbar|
|Criminal charge||Original 43-count indictment charging various drug crimes, and charged with running a Continuing Criminal Enterprise involving at least 150 kilograms of cocaine and at least 1.5 kilograms of cocaine base|
|Criminal penalty||Life sentence with no parole|
|Criminal status||Unknown, possible Witness Protection Program|
|Conviction(s)||(1) Engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, under 21 U.S.C. §§ 848(b), 853 (Count One); (2) Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 50 grams of cocaine base, under 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count Two); (3) Unlawfully employing a person under 18 years of age, under 21 U.S.C. § 845b (Count Five); (4) Interstate travel in aid of racketeering, under 18 U.S.C. § 1952(a) (Count Eleven); (5) Unlawful use of a communications facility, under 21 U.S.C. § 843(b) (Counts Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, and Eighteen). On September 17, 1990, the District Court imposed sentences of mandatory life without parole on Count One, life without parole on Counts Two and Five, 60 months on Count Eleven, and 48 months on Counts Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, and Eighteen. Edmond's sentences were to run concurrently.|
Rayful Edmond III (born November 26, 1964 in Washington, D.C.), is a notorious former drug kingpin who is largely credited with introducing crack cocaine into the Washington, D.C. area. During this time period, Washington, D.C. was known as the "murder capital" because crack cocaine had ravaged the city to the point where people were afraid to leave their homes or take public transportation.
Edmond was alleged to have moved large amounts of cocaine. In an indictment involving two of Edmond's associates, it said that they bought between 1,000 and 2,000 kilos per week, in 1992, from the Trujillo-Blanco brothers, who were associated with the Medellin cartel, and sold the drugs to Washington area wholesalers. He was known to have spent some $457,619 in an exclusive Georgetown store (Linea Pitti, specializing in Italian men's clothing) owned by Charles Wynn who was later convicted on 34 counts of money laundering. Edmond's estimated revenue was approximately $300 million annually. In one year, Edmond's organization, which employed 150 people, committed 30 murders.
The Meeting With Coach Thompson
Edmond was an avid fan of the Georgetown Hoyas, and frequently sat courtside with his entourage at the Capital Centre for home games. At the height of his empire, he became very friendly with several Hoyas players. When Georgetown University basketball coach (and D.C. native) John Thompson confirmed what was happening, he sent word through his sources to have Edmond meet him at his office at McDonough Gymnasium.
When Edmond arrived, Thompson was initially cordial, and informed Edmond that he needed to cease all contacts with his players, specifically John Turner and Alonzo Mourning, both of whom had befriended Edmond. However, Thompson's parting words to Edmond were that Edmond would face serious consequences if he did not stay away from his players. It is believed that Thompson is the only person to stand up to Edmond without consequence, initially causing some shock and surprise that there was no reprisal against Thompson for it.
Arrest, trial, and conviction
Edmond was arrested in 1989 at the age of 24. His arrest and subsequent trial were widely covered by local and national media. Judicial officials, fearful of reprisals from members of Edmond's gang, imposed unprecedented security during the trial. Jurors' identities were kept secret before, during, and after trial, and their seating area was enclosed in bulletproof glass. The presiding judge even barred the public from the trial in an effort to protect the jury. Edmond was jailed at the maximum security facility at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia and flown to the Federal Court House in Washington, D.C. by helicopter each day for his trial. Authorities took this unusual step due to heightened fears of an armed escape attempt. This gang was believed to have committed over 400 murders not including the attempted murder of a local pastor, the Reverend Mr. Bynum, who was shot 12 times during an anti-drug march in his Orleans Place neighborhood.
Edmond was convicted of numerous federal violations: (1) Engaging in a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, under 21 U.S.C. §§ 848(b), 853 (Count One); (2) Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 50 grams of cocaine base, under 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count Two); (3) Unlawfully employing a person under 18 years of age, under 21 U.S.C. § 845b (Count Five); (4) Interstate travel in aid of racketeering, under 18 U.S.C. § 1952(a) (Count Eleven); (5) Unlawful use of a communications facility, under 21 U.S.C. § 843(b) (Counts Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, and Eighteen).
On September 17, 1990, the District Court imposed sentences of mandatory life without parole on Count One, life without parole on Counts Two and Five, 60 months on Count Eleven, and 48 months on Counts Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, and Eighteen. Edmond's sentences were to run concurrently.
Edmond was eventually sentenced to life in prison without parole. His mother, Constance "Bootsie" Perry, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for participating in his criminal enterprise. Several of his sisters and cousins also received sentences.
Rayful continued to deal after being incarcerated in Lewisburg, PA federal prison. He hooked up with Dixon Dario and Osvaldo “Chiqui” Trujillo-Blanco (son of Griselda "Godmother" Trujillo Blanco) who shared the same cell block with him. Rayful was setting up deals between D.C. area traffickers and his Colombian connect (Dario and Blanco) while incarcerated.(2) In 1996, Edmond and another drug dealer from Atlanta, named Lowe, were convicted after conducting drug business from a federal prison phone. Edmond received an additional 30-year sentence. Edmond's case is one of the most notorious abuses of such phone privileges, and an embarrassment for the Bureau of Prisons. In an interview with the Bureau of Prisons, Edmond said he had spent several hours every day on the telephone, occasionally using two lines simultaneously to conduct his drug business.
Following this conviction, Edmond became a government informant, the reasons for which remain unknown and create speculation to this day. Some speculate it was to secure his mother's release from prison, however his mother was arrested in the original indictments and spent time in prison and Edmond did not become an informant during this time. Edmond is still incarcerated but is now part of the United States Federal Witness Protection Program and his place of incarceration is confidential.
In popular culture
- Rayful features prominently in the documentary film The Life of Rayful Edmond Vol.1 The Rise and Fall (2005) and Rayful's character, Ray, is portrayed in the motion picture If These Streets Could Talk (2014).
- On his song "Can I Live" (1996), rapper Jay Z says, "No more Big Willie, my game has grown prefer you call me William Illin' for revenues, Rayful Edmond like Channel 7 News."
- Rapper Rick Ross makes reference to Rayful Edmond on Meek Mill song "Work", Ross says, "Not the Reagen Era but a nigga making cheddar Rayful Edmond in the mirror and I'm never telling." 
- Rayful Edmond played a significant role in Seth Ferranti book Rayful Edmond (2013).
- Rayful Edmond was featured in episode 9, season 2 of American Gangster.
- "American Gangster, Rayful Edmonds III". Bet.com. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- "Rayful Edmond". Panachereport.com. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Chris79. "The Life Of Rayful Edmond Movie Trailer Video". Vodpod.com. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- "In Times Like These, D.C. Sports Fans Should Remember the Greats". Bleacher Report. 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Wilbon, Michael. "A Coach, Not a Crusader". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- Wise, Mike (2007-02-10). "Big John Is Still Big John". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- By Ali (2008-09-02). "Streetball, Sneakers, Bobbito, Nike Air Force, Jordans " Blog Archive " The Playground Gave Us Big John and Georgetown Basketball". Bouncemag.com. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- "USA v. RAYFUL EDMOND, III". Court of Appeals, District of Columbia. 28 April 1995. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
- "The Once Millionaire Drug Dealer, Rayful Edmond III Could Get Another Chance - Unusual News". Zimbio. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Department of Justice
- Cauvin, Henri E. (July 22, 2005). "A Drug Kingpin's Hot-Selling Story: DVD on Rayful Edmond III Has Captivated Washington". Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
- Seth Ferranti (1 May 23, 2011). Rayful Edmond. Gorilla Convict Publications. ISBN 0980068770.