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Friend of Washington Mayor Arrested

From United Press International

Charles Lewis, the man Mayor Marion Barry visited repeatedly at a downtown hotel room last year, was arrested Friday in the Virgin Islands on charges of selling crack cocaine to an undercover agent, the FBI said.

Lewis was charged with selling 25 rocks of crack cocaine, weighing about 6 to 7 grams, to the agent in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, an FBI spokesman in Washington said. He was arrested by special agents of the Washington and San Juan, Puerto Rico, offices of the FBI.

Lewis, 48, is a native of the Virgin Islands.

Barry visited Lewis at least six times at a Washington hotel in November and December. The visits became part of a national scandal when it was disclosed that an undercover police drug investigation of Lewis was halted after Barry was seen entering Lewis’ room on Dec. 22.

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Lewis had offered a hotel maid cocaine in exchange for sex, the FBI said. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Lewis’ arrest in the Virgin Islands is part of a continuing federal grand jury investigation in Washington. Barry has testified twice before the panel, but has denied using drugs or having knowledge of any drugs in the room. Barry would say publicly only that Lewis was “someone I know.”

Lewis has not been charged with any crime in that probe.

U.S. Atty. Terry Halpern of the Virgin Islands said Lewis will be charged in the Friday arrest with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance.

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If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1-million fine on each count.


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