A Los Angeles federal grand jury handed down an indictment Thursday, accusing five people of participating in a scheme to manufacture and distribute large quantities of the drug phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP.
According to the indictment, the five conspired to distribute the PCP in Los Angeles, as well as in other parts of the United States, including New York and Maryland.
Federal prosecutors said that on Feb. 15, agents seized 60 gallons of finished PCP, as well as hundreds of gallons of highly toxic PCP-precursor chemicals that could have been used to manufacture more than 1,200 gallons of the drug with a potential street value of well over $12 million.
The seizure of the finished PCP and the precursor chemicals, which took place at several locations in Los Angeles including Culver City, and is among the largest PCP seizures in history, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The 13-count indictment stems from an investigation launched when federal drug agents in New York developed a source who agreed to help undercover operatives to obtain 30 gallons of PCP from California, prosecutors said.
Two of the five defendants -- Darryl "Theodore Hook" Dwayne Burton, 56, and Lagina Bell Huckaby, 32, -- were arrested in February at a UPS store in Culver City where they were allegedly trying to ship drugs, according to Lt. Scott Fairfield of the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force, or L.A. IMPACT. Burton - who allegedly obtained the chemicals and cooked the PCP - has been in federal custody since last month and Huckabee has been in custody since June 19.
All five defendents face potential life sentences if convicted. The other three are: Omar Ahmad, 59, of New York, who is currently in state custody in Los Angeles; Doris Renee Wade, 47, of New York, who is currently in state custody in Los Angeles, and Carl Michael Arnsby, 41, of Los Angeles, who is in state custody in Los Angeles.
All five are expected to appear in Los Angeles federal court for arraignment next week.
Each defendant is charged with various PCP-related conspiracies, including conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute PCP.
Additionally, Burton is charged with two counts of illegal possession of precursor chemicals, three counts of maintaining drug-involved premises, and one count each of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of firearms.