WASHINGTON -- Mayor Marion Barry, who has repeatedly denied allegations of drug use, was arrested Thursday night on narcotics charges, the U.S. attorney's office said.
A statement issued by U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens said Barry was arrested 'shortly after 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at a downtown Washington hotel.'
Barry's arrest 'was the result of an undercover operation conducted by the FBI and the Internal Affairs Division of the Metropolitan Police Department,' the statement said.
Barry was expected to be arraigned before a U.S. Magistrate in federal district court on Friday, the statement said.
The statement did not say at what hotel Barry had been arrested, but reports over local television and radio identified it as the Vista International Hotel in downtown Washington. The hotel was filled with police and federal agents all night.
WUSA-TV, quoting unidentified sources, reported that Barry apparently had been caught in an undercover sting, of which he was not the target, on the seventh floor of the hotel.
The seventh floor of the Vista was cordoned off by law enforcement officials, and two plainclothes law enforcement agents could be seen leaving that floor, each carrying a plastic bag of what appeared to be evidence.
There have been many allegations that Barry has used drugs. The most startling came from convicted drug dealer Charles Lewis, whom Barry once called a friend. At a sentencing hearing two months ago, Lewis said Barry took crack cocaine with him at the Ramada Inn in downtown Washington.
Barry has denied this and other allegations.