$100 million in PCP seized in Los Angeles and Culver City
Nearly $100 million worth of PCP was seized in Los Angeles and Culver City and two suspects were arrested this week in what authorities described as a major bust of a drug-trafficking organization with operations throughout the country.
The suspects, Darryl Dwayne Burton and La Gina Huckaby, were arrested Wednesday after a monthlong investigation, said Lt. Scott Fairfield of the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force, known as L.A. IMPACT. Officers found packages containing gallons of PCP in the suspects’ possession, he said, and then secured search warrants for several locations where the alleged drug ring was believed to be operating.
Authorities then discovered a total of approximately 130 gallons of phencyclidine, the chemical name for PCP, at the homes and storage facilities they searched, along with $389,000 in cash, two assault weapons and enough chemicals to produce roughly 500 additional gallons of PCP, L.A. IMPACT announced in a news release.
Fairfield said Burton was believed to be associated with an L.A. County street gang and was considered a “major player” in the trafficking organization. He said Huckaby’s role was not immediately known.
The roughly 130 gallons of “finished product” seized by investigators is enough to produce about 10 million individual doses of PCP, which sell for over $10 each, Fairfield said. The trafficking business is believed to have been operating in Texas, New York and Washington, D.C., as well as other cities across the U.S.
“They were shipping and moving and dealing a huge amount of product,” Fairfield said. “It’s the largest PCP seizure I’ve ever heard of.”
The investigation began about a month ago, when the task force received a tip from the Drug Enforcement Administration, he said. L.A. IMPACT investigators began daily surveillance of the suspects at that point.
Huckaby was confronted Wednesday at a UPS store in Culver City where she was allegedly trying to ship three gallons of PCP through the courier, Fairfield said. L.A. IMPACT investigators also found several gallons of the drug in the vehicle she was driving. Burton was arrested after he arrived at the same facility.
Fairfield said that two homes in South Los Angeles were subsequently searched, where investigators found the cash and an active drug lab. Most of the PCP was found at two storage facilities, he said. The location of those facilities is not being disclosed due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
“We’re still working this,” Fairfield said. “We’re hoping it leads to more and we believe that it will.”
L.A. IMPACT has presented its case against Burton and Huckaby to the L.A. County district attorney’s Office and the suspects are still in custody, Fairfield said.
-- Sam Allen
Photo: Cash found along with nearly $100 million in PCP. Credit: L.A. Impact