City Desk

D.C.’s Burgeoning PCP Problem?

According to prosecutors, the Toyota Camry 37-year old Mary Elizabeth Wimbush was driving with her four children inside on April 12, 2010, "traveled approximately 47 feet backward after impact."

On Jan. 7, the clean-cut, caramel-colored 35-year-old believed responsible hung his head as Judge Thomas Motley read an account of what happened. Though he'd come into the brightly lit room to plead guilty, if Ajene Jones killed that woman—hurt her children—he didn't mean to. Standing in room 319 of the D.C. Superior Court building in an orange prison jump suit, he told the judge he didn't even remember the day in its entirety.

What he does remember: Using a Dodge Ram van to help a friend move out of an apartment. Buying and smoking a PCP-laced cigarette. Then, being strapped to an ambulance stretcher. "You were in an accident," he was told.

But no matter how out of it Jones might have been, police wouldn't see what happened as an accident. They'd see it as murder. At about 7:00 pm., Jones zoomed the van he was driving onto the 3600 block of Alabama Avenue SE, doing over 52 mph in a 25-mph zone. He was also driving down the wrong side of the street. He burst into Wimbush's life like a cannon.

As Jones agreed to a deal in which he would enter an Alford plea of guilty to voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges, Motley made sure he understood what that meant. "I could sentence you up to 50 years, do you understand that?" the judge asked. Jones said he did. He'll be sentenced on March 11.

In the future, there could be more incidents like the one Jones was convicted of. Though in the District, PCP isn't as prevalent as crack, a 2010 Metropolitan Police Department intelligence report obtained from a police source says use of the drug is increasing: "Presently, the number of PCP users in the District of Columbia is low, but has increased threefold over the past two years and the demand for PCP continues to rise." (Of course, such reports are frequently used to justify budget requests for more resources to fight whatever scourge they're about.)

The report also mentions how "street distributors" peddle the drug in or around public housing complexes and residential housing areas, and that the business can be lucrative.

"Most street sellers possess either one ounce or a half ounce clear glass bottle containing the liquid PCP," the report says. "The buyer will produce their own cigarette to the seller." Sellers then dip the buyers' cigarettes in the drug. Newport is the most popular cigarette used for the "dipper," the report says. The doused cigarettes costs about $25 a pop.

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  • sedcdude

    Sucks to be him, life is all about choices and although remorseful, HE CHOSE!

    Nothing but historical repetition!

    Like the economy, so goes the social vices of the masses, all cyclical! I remember back n da day, in 86 a dude jumped off of Wingate House hi rise BUTT NAKED and left an indentation in the GROUND!

    LOVE BOAT, DA DIPPA', DIPPERS, JOHN HINKLEY, BUTT NAKED, SHERMAN STIX or LOVELY, no matter what you call it, that's some nasty stuff right there!

  • Typical DC BS

    We had a guy in his early 20's flipping out on PCP at a basketball court. Took 5 cops to get him under control, who battered him into a pulp to subdue him.

    His nitwit brother shows up with momma at the hospital to check on their dear boy and got into a major fight with the cops after they saw how badly beaten he was. Said the cops should have used a taser or something (he didn't react to 3 taser shots). Nitwit brother then arrested also.

    As far as I'm concerned, PCP users who flip out need to be shot on the spot.

  • W Jordan

    Should Meth users also be shot on the spot?

  • SC Brown, ANC7C04

    What's the point of this article? Last year Mendelson passed legislation to stiffen penalties for users like this one and the one who killed a woman waiting for the bus on Southern Ave (I believe). This article should've delved into whether that law is helping whether the dealers need to have stiffer penalities, why Newports and not Marlboros (is it because Newports are most often sold in Black communities?). I submitted testimony to the Judiciary Committee that the penalties for dealers need to be stronger. Hanging it all on the user only solves half the crime. Please, Rend, finish the rest of this st

  • Rick Mangus

    He knew what he was doing when he smoked it! Give this loser the max!

  • Typical DC BS

    @W Jordan: I have never seen meth users flip out like PCP users. When PCP users geek out, they are incredibly immune to pain and can cause massive havoc. Having seen my sister and her idiot ex-husband wreck their lives using PCP (and having to deal with the husband personally while he was tweaked out), I have no sympathy whatsoever when a PCP user hurts someone else or has to be taken down by the cops. Ask any cop if they would want to deal with a PCP or meth user - hands down they'll take the meth user.

  • Esteban G.

    PCP is a deadly killer. Anybody who uses it should be taken out of society. I don't know how we can tolerate the production and distribution of this dangerous dangerous substance.

  • Jiggaboo Coon Porchmonkey from Ward 8

    Too bad Jones isn't dead... Here's hoping for a violent rape and murder while in prison.