Washington, D.C. police along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms posed as a rap label to nab $7.2 million worth of drugs – 21 pounds of coke, 80 pounds of meth, 1.25 gallons of PCP as well as 24 pounds of marijuana, heroin and ecstasy – and 161 weapons – ammunition, revolvers and shotguns – after a year-long investigation, according to Complex.com.
“The team operated out of the ‘Manic Enterprises’ studio, which was run by ‘Richie Valdez’ (D.C. Police Sgt. Dale Sutherland) and located inside of a Northeast DC rowhouse,” reported Complex.com. “The ‘studio’ opened in November of 2010, and featured the usual studio equipment, as well as some addition technology-hidden audio and video gear.”
The Washington Post wrote that there were 70 suspects who kept returning to sting for drugs and guns before finally offering Sutherland a rocket launcher and hand grenades. And, in addition to this, the detained suspects said that they would kill innocent people or police officers if deemed necessary.
This, coupled with the dealers saying that they were going to rob the “recording studio” over FBI-tapped wires with undercover cops listening, is what convinced Sutherland to pull the plug on the operation and take the suspects into custody.
“They had real connections to real gun traffickers,” Sutherland said in an interview. “It is unusual to get that many guys that have a ‘connect’ where they can get guns steady. We know criminals have this kind of stuff on the street, but we don’t get to recover it very often.”
“This was an extremely dangerous operation,” Police Chief Lanier wrote in a press release. “These suspects had bragged about other violent crimes they had committed and had no qualms about killing police officers, guards and other innocent people. All the law enforcement members involved in this operation are to be commended for their bravery.
In addition to this, the Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents “uncovered connections to a Mexican drug cartel and out-of-area gun traders that led to federal investigations in a half-dozen states and a murder case in El Salvador,” called “La Familia,” according to the Washington Post.
“Had those drugs and guns made it to our streets, the consequences would be devastating,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said in a news conference after the arrest.
During the same conference, Valdez’s (Sutherland) fake bodyguard, officer Kief Green told the press, “I never thought guys could get guns as fast as those guys can get guns. . . . Amazing.
On that note: “Here’s a memo to the goons, even though they should already know this: don’t trust anyone,” Complex.com explains, “especially people claiming to be part of the music industry.”
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in sports, lifestyle, fashion, and travel. In his spare time, he enjoys going for long walks with his dog Rex.