Rogersville arrest leads to federal charges for reputed gang member

A pimp and reputed Vice Lords gang member from Knoxville, who spent time in federal prison for human trafficking and drug offenses, has reemerged in the federal court system as a result of a Sept. 26 arrest in Rogersville, according to court documents.

Marcus Douglas Washington, 38, allegedly was holding a felony amount of drugs, but federal prosecutors are focusing on the .12-gauge shotgun, .380-caliber handgun and .25-caliber handgun that were found inside Washington’s car after it rolled off Clinch Street into a ditch.

A federal grand jury indicted Washington for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment was unsealed on Friday. His initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greeneville had not been scheduled by Monday afternoon.

An arrest petition, apparently related to his prior federal-court convictions for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

The oxycodone was an integral part of his pimping. Washington provided oxycodone to female oxycodone addicts, and in part used the threat of withholding painkillers if sex workers considered leaving him, according to his plea agreement.

“He constantly kept a gun to my head, telling me every direction and command,” one former prostitute wrote in a victim-impact statement. “He prided himself as a pimp in the prostitution world and without even seeing it coming, he had forcefully plunged me into that dark, disgusting world.

“Marcus is the sad person in his story,” the woman further wrote. “Marcus is the man that isn’t a man, but a selfish boy with sick fantasies of hurting women.”

Washington accepted a 10-year plea bargain.

He could have faced more time, but federal prosecutors agreed to the deal because it prevented the victims, some of whom lived out of state, from testifying about “traumatic experiences that involved instances of physical and emotional abuse,” a federal prosecutor wrote in the prosecution sentencing memorandum.

In another federal prosecution that originated in Hawkins County, a federal grand jury has indicted Dustin S. Collins for conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and maintaining a dwelling on Cope Lane in Rogersville for the purpose of distributing and using meth and marijuana.

Collins allegedly distributed meth on five occasions between May 2018, and April of this year, according to the indictment, which was also unsealed Friday. Like Washington, Collins’ initial appearance has not been scheduled.