LOS ANGELES – Authorities have arrested 10 members and associates of an Inglewood-based street gang on federal narcotics-trafficking and firearms charges contained in a grand jury indictment that outlines how the defendants obtained cocaine, used a purported convenience store to convert it into crack cocaine, and distributed the drugs on the streets of Inglewood and South Los Angeles, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
The indictment targets the leadership and key members of the 92 Osage Legend Crips (OLC), a violent street gang that allegedly manufactured and distributed crack cocaine from the “Stop and Shop Market” in a strip mall on South Prairie Avenue. After cooking and packaging the crack cocaine at the Stop and Shop, members of the drug-trafficking conspiracy allegedly delivered drugs to customers at various locations, including at a U.S. VETS office and the Social Security office in Inglewood.
Various defendants charged in this case, some of them previously convicted felons, allegedly possessed firearms in relation to their drug-trafficking activities. The street gang members and their associates “used violence and intimidation, including firearms, to maintain and expand their drug-dealing territory, to protect themselves, their drugs, and their drug proceeds from rival gangs and drug-dealing organizations, and to collect payment from drug customers,” according to the indictment.
The indictment charges 15 defendants, 10 of whom were arrested last night and this morning. Out of the remaining five defendants, one was already in state custody, and four are currently fugitives.
The 16-count indictment charges all 15 defendants in a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The indictment also charges various defendants with maintaining a drug-involved premises; possession with intent to distribute, and distribution, of crack cocaine; possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime; and felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.
“Street gangs use violence and intimidation as tools to control narcotics trafficking in their territory,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “We are committed to making significant improvements in our communities by targeting gangs that bring the dual scourges of drugs and violence into neighborhoods.”
“This multi-year investigation began in partnership with the Inglewood Police Department following a spike in violence in the city involving the Osage Legend Crips and indications that the gang had evolved from a local street gang to an organized criminal enterprise,” said Paul Delacourt, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The FBI and our local partners will continue to target the most violent gangs whose members hijack Los Angeles neighborhoods in furtherance of their illegal narcotics sales and criminal interests.”
The lead defendants in the indictment – Glen Dwight Love, also known as “Big Luck,” 46, of Pasadena; Deshay Lewann King, also known as “Shay Bone,” 45, of South Los Angeles; and Wiley Venoy Ivory II, also known as “Slim,” 38, an Inglewood resident who was already in state custody on unrelated charges – ran the Stop and Shop, which from the exterior appeared to be a convenience store, but in reality was nothing more than a drug processing and storage facility. According to the indictment, several defendants “discussed attempting to make the shop look like an actual retail store and getting window signs to tell drug customers and co-conspirators when to avoid going into the shop.”
Various members of the conspiracy allegedly sold crack cocaine by driving in and around Inglewood, making stops at regular locations where street-level customers knew they could find dealers. Many of the gang’s narcotics sales were for small amounts, but the indictment discusses a series of larger transactions, some involving ounce quantities of crack cocaine. Intercepted communications during the investigation revealed members of the conspiracy discussing a transaction involving four kilograms of cocaine.
The defendants taken into custody since last night are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment this afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If they were to be convicted, each of the defendants would face decades in federal prison. The conspiracy count alone carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life without parole.
The investigation targeting the OLC was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Inglewood Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua O. Mausner of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.