LOS ANGELES – An investigation led by the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department last night and this morning resulted in the arrest of 14 defendants linked to the Hoover Criminal Gang on federal charges alleging the distribution of narcotics, some of which were sold to customers out of two South Los Angeles storefronts.
The investigation – dubbed Operation Hoover Dam – resulted in three indictments being returned over the past few weeks by a federal grand jury. The indictments allege that the defendants – all members or associates of the street gang, or alleged drug dealers who operated in gang territory – sold methamphetamine, crack cocaine, cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP). One indictment also alleges weapons violations, including carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
The main indictment charges 10 defendants, including two senior gang members who operated stores where narcotics allegedly were peddled. Bobby Lorenzo Reed, a.k.a. “Zo,” 56, the owner of the H&E Smoke and Snack Shop, and Andrew Tate, a.k.a. “Batman,” 52, the owner of the TNN Market, each sold methamphetamine, crack cocaine and powder cocaine from their respective South Los Angeles stores, referred customers to one another, supplied one another, and directed their employees to engage in drug sales and referrals, according to the indictment, which details dozens of narcotics transactions in 2017 and 2018.
The 32-count indictment further charges Tate and a second person with conspiring to distribute heroin inside Solano State Prison in Vacaville. In this conspiracy, Tate allegedly supplied heroin to Lashina Lacy, 33, of Fresno, who allegedly attempted to smuggle the contraband into the prison for an incarcerated gang member, who, in turn, intended to sell the heroin to other inmates. As a result of this part of the investigation, which included the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the heroin was intercepted before entering the prison.
The second indictment unsealed today charges three defendants with participating in a series of narcotics transactions in 2018, some involving sales of approximately one and two ounces of methamphetamine and crack cocaine.
The third indictment unsealed today charges two people with distributing street-level quantities of PCP and crack cocaine.
The three indictments charge a total of 15 defendants. After 14 arrests last night and this morning, authorities are continuing to search for one defendant, Ricky Blue, 51.
The defendants were taken into custody primarily in South Los Angeles, but arrests were also made in South Gate and Fresno.
The defendants arrested in the Los Angeles area are expected to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted of the charges alleged in the indictments, most of the defendants would face mandatory minimum sentences of five or 10 years in federal prison.
Operation Hoover Dam was conducted by the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
The prosecutions resulting from the investigation are being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Scott D. Dubois of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section.