Maryland Man Found Guilty by Jury in Firearms Trafficking Conspiracy

Editors Note: The following press release is directly from ATF. Regular readers of AmmoLand News know our stance on the unaccountable Federal Agency: No comment. We invite our readers to leave their hard-hitting insights in the comments below.

Pile of Hand Guns

WASHINGTON – -( James Hutchings Jr, 41, of Waldorf, Maryland, has been found guilty by a jury in the District of Columbia of a federal conspiracy charge for his role as the middleman in an illegal transfer of weapons involving people prohibited from possessing firearms.

The verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division, and Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Hutchings was found guilty yesterday following a trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The Honorable Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell scheduled sentencing for Aug. 9, 2022.

In 2018, the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force began investigating an individual named Linwood Douglas Thorne, as a major heroin supplier. On Dec. 19, 2018, the FBI and ATF executed simultaneous search warrants on Thorne’s Maryland business and residence in the District of Columbia, finding 44 kilograms of heroin laced with fentanyl; 55 pounds of marijuana; five firearms; and significant drug paraphernalia.

In addition to the search warrants, the task force’s investigation—which began in July of 2018—led to the recovery of eight additional firearms, approximately 1.5 additional kilograms of marijuana, 260 additional grams of heroin, and several firearms magazines and accessories.

The ATF conducted a parallel investigation into three of the firearms found at Thorne’s residence and discovered that the firearms were purchased by a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army named Kofi Appiah.

After additional investigation, including the discovery of multiple digital devices, law enforcement identified Hutchings as the middleman who facilitated the transfer of the firearms from Georgia to the District of Columbia. Both Hutchings and Thorne were prohibited persons based on their prior convictions, and thus, were ineligible to possess firearms.

During the trial, the government presented multiple law enforcement witnesses, along with digital and business records establishing and corroborating the defendant’s guilt. With this conviction, the defendant faces up to five years of imprisonment. He is currently on supervised probation out of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Appiah pleaded guilty in September 2020 and was later sentenced to 37 months in prison. Thorne, 50, was found guilty in March 2022 of multiple counts and is awaiting sentencing.

In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Jacobs, and Special Agent in Charge Patterson commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI and ATF, as well as those from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) who were on the Safe Streets Task Force. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by joint law enforcement and prosecution partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who prosecuted the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon Regan, Samuel Frey, and Gregory Rosen, as well as Paralegal Specialist Alexis Spencer-Anderson of the Federal Major Crimes Section.

Washington Field Division

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

ATF is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating violations of the federal firearms and explosives laws and regulations. More information about ATF and its programs can be found at

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )

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Here is my take on this situation. Drug seller caught with straw-purchased guns(says who?). He is found guilty. GOOD!
How about the Biden who bought a gun and LIED on the 4473 form. He checked the box that he is not a drug user(BIG FAT LIE). Wife threw gun into trash dumpster(no prosecution). The Biden DRUG USER has yet to be charged by the ATF nor has he been arrested — let alone NOT PROSECUTED!


Looks like the government thugs are bragging about armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping, and violation of rights again. Too bad there wasn’t a liberty lover on that jury who could have practiced nullification.


Every gun rights group needs to start educating on jury rights, and tactics to get on “gun control” juries.



Wild Bill

Yeah, it is odd that not one liberty loving person could be found for the jury… not one.


There are thousands of cases, just in the last couple years, of the BATFE working with local law enforcement to enforce never-ending federal firearm laws. In this case, local law enforcement was the Metropolitan Police Department. However, many times local law enforcement is “southern” police departments and sheriff offices.

Project Safe Neighborhood was founded over 20 years ago and it’s well-funded.


What does “…. including the discovery of multiple digital devices…” supposed to mean? And how is that relatable to drugs/weapons investigations?

“Thorne, 50, was found guilty in March 2022 of multiple counts and is awaiting sentencing.” Translation: they are still working out the plea deal. Would be great to find out where 44 kilos of death smack came from, and where else it was going to go.


Multiple digital devices might be scales for weighing the drugs or making the drugs?


Thank you- makes good sense. More sloppiness by the sloppiest gov-org.


Your welcome and glad I could be of help. Have a great day.

Wild Bill

You are a very good man! Both of youse.


Thank you and visa versa. We try. I am reading Rules for Anit Radicals. A quote was in there from Mark Twain that says you cannot educate an idiot in reference to the Marxist left so I have bit my tongue and not bought into the in fighting that goes on and not made comments to some of the idiotic posts on here. Another person said in one of his comments to me that when you buy into their arguments that you help them hijack the board and instantly in my mind I saw post after posts of arguing. That… Read more »


Add in cell phones or computers used to communicate to other dealers.
A few years ago the feds had access to a secret secured cell and messenger service that was used for criminal enterprise.


If you’re walking the streets you have a right to self defense with a firearm. And free to sell to whom is free. If they are that much of a criminal, maybe they shouldn’t be on the streets ? So what happened to the weapons ? South of the border they go.


Oh joy, now perhaps they will go after Eric Holder’s crowd involved in Fast and Furious and stop the fentanyl/drugs freight train at the sothern border by actually enforcing immigration laws. Crickets? Hold my breath? Oh, I see it, it is the Ultra MAGA and conservative terrorists that are the real problem. Lalaland.


Love your interpretation of the truth, the real truth, not the lefts truth.

I’m tired of unequal justice enforced by the corrupt political law enforcement agencies and officials. Holder, Hitlery, Shiff, Hunter and allot more should all be in jail right now.


Did the FBI investigate who the heroin was sold to? Did any of them die from a heroin/fentanyl overdose? Did the local PD have to expend any resources to save the lives of these drug users? Sounds like an incomplete half-ass investigation to me.


it is the fbi. Everything they do is half-assed and politicly motivated needs to be dissolved and a non partisan investigation group formed


ATFBI. David Keene’s “federal partners”.