A federal grand jury has indicted three men with conspiring to sell 100 pounds of methamphetamine at a boutique hotel in Huntington Beach after authorities began surveilling the residence where they stashed the narcotics, prosecutors said Thursday.
Rami Haddad, 38, of Costa Mesa; Steven Barragan, 37, of Montebello; and Ernest Tyrone Walton Jr., 37, of Anaheim are all facing charges of conspiracy to distribute 100 pounds of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 88 pounds of the drug, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.
Haddad is facing additional charges of using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and knowingly distributing 9.9 pounds of meth.
The scheme allegedly began on Jan. 16, when Haddad made a deal to sell 10 pounds of meth for more than $15,000 to a man staying at the Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach Resort, officials said.
Haddad is accused of showing the buyer a .38-caliber revolver during a meeting he arranged with the man at his Costa Mesa home, then later delivering the narcotics to the hotel at 500 Pacific Coast Highway in a black duffel bag.
Two weeks later, Haddad had ordered 100 pounds of meth and packaged it for sale in his garage, where he kept the revolver for protection, according to prosecutors.
On Feb. 4, law enforcement allegedly saw Haddad leaving his home with Walton, both carrying large black boxes that they loaded into Walton’s car. The pair then drove in separate cars to the Huntington Beach resort, where they planned to sell the 100-pound haul to the same buyer as before, court papers state.
But Haddad was arrested upon walking into the lobby, and Walton was taken into custody not far away, officials said.
Authorities seized 88 pounds of meth during their arrests, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors say Haddad later admitted to picking up the shipment with Barragan’s help, and said they two discussed diluting the meth.
All three men are scheduled to be arraigned April 1 in Santa Ana.