January 18

This Day in History

Crime

Jan 18, 1990:

Barry arrested on drug charges

At the end of a joint sting operation by FBI agents and District of Columbia police, Mayor Marion Barry is arrested and charged with drug possession and the use of crack, a crystalline form of cocaine. At the Vista International Hotel in downtown Washington, Barry was caught smoking the substance on camera with Rahsheeda Moore, a woman who had agreed to set up Barry in exchange for a reduced sentence in an earlier drug conviction. "The bitch set me up! The bitch set me up!" he yelled as he was taken away.

In September 1991, he was sentenced to six months in prison for possession of crack cocaine. After serving his sentence, Barry, claiming to have overcome his "personal adversities," reentered D.C. politics. He was elected to the city council before once again winning the mayoral election in 1994 for an unprecedented fourth term. In 1997, Barry, often accused of corruption, was stripped of much of his power by Congress, which passed legislation to end "home rule" in the District, returning the city to the pre-1974 system of administration by federal-appointed commissioners. In January 1999, Barry retired and was succeeded by Anthony Williams as mayor of the nation's capital. However, Barry entered politics again when he ran for the Ward 8 City Council seat and won with 96% of the vote in November 2004.

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