Four men were arrested and federal agents seized drugs valued at $120 million, culminating a two-year investigation aimed at shutting down a ring trafficking in the powerful hallucinogenic drug PCP, authorities said Wednesday.
James Bates, 44, of Los Angeles; James Broomfield, 31, of Chino; Howard Broomfield, 34, and Darnell Crookshank, 37, both of West Covina, were charged with conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance.
During the investigation, Los Angeles police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have seized 44 firearms. Three members of a street gang operating near Main and 69th streets have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 22 to 45 years for various drug and firearm offenses, a bureau spokesman said.
The U.S. attorney's office, Los Angeles police and the ATF began the investigation with the intent of infiltrating the PCP ring's top levels, said bureau Special Agent in Charge George A. Rodriguez. The arrests and drug seizures, carried out last week, "have effectively shut the entire operation down and taken the gang's shot callers off of the street," he said.