Top 10 fugtive 'Freaky' Mercer captured in counterfeit sting

Crime,Scott McCabe

A member of The Examiner's Top 10 Most Wanted, the last remaining fugitive member of a violent D.C. street gang, was captured during a raid on a counterfeit operation in North Carolina.

Police investigating a number of $20 and $100 bills being passed around in Lumberton, N.C., got a tip that 35-year-old Frederick "Freaky" Mercer was hiding out in a house believed to be producing the fake money.

The Examiner featured Mercer last month as one of the Washington area's 10 most wanted fugitives and reported that he was possibly hiding out with family in Clinton, N.C., in the south central part of the state. He had been on the run for more than two years.

Mercer was putting on his pants and had a loaded .45-caliber pistol when police burst into the home last week, police told the Fayetteville Observer. Police also found $15,000 in counterfeit money, as well as a computer used to produce the phony bills. Some of the fake money was still in the printer waiting to be cut and bleached, police said. Two brothers, Derrick Johnson, 36, and Brian Johnson, 22, were charged with the making the counterfeit money.

Mercer is in federal custody in Raleigh, awaiting extradition to Washington, D.C.

Mercer was the last at-large member of the Fourth Street Mob, a family drug trafficking outfit that controlled the drug trade on and around the 4200 block of Fourth Street in Southeast D.C. from 1998 to 2007. The criminal outfit distributed large quantities of powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and Ecstasy and maintained a cache of weapons to help it keep its grip on the neighborhood and distribute drugs from D.C. to Maryland and Virginia, law enforcement officials said.

All 14 of Mercer's co-conspirators have been captured and sentenced for their crimes, including the head of the mob who was sent to prison for 25 years earlier this year.

Mercer was featured early this year on "America's Most Wanted." Agents told the television show that Mercer was charming and funny, but also one of the most effective enforcers for the street gang. When a man accused Mercer of being a snitch, cops said Mercer carved his initials into the man's chest.

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