LAPD, FBI arrest 14 in alleged drug ring run by South L.A. gang

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Fourteen people linked to the Hoover Criminal Gang have been arrested on federal charges accusing them of selling narcotics, some of which were sold at two South Los Angeles storefronts, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The arrests were part of a joint FBI and Los Angeles Police Department investigation dubbed “Operation Hoover Dam,” which targeted members of the notorious street gang based in the western district of South Los Angeles and has resulted in three indictments, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California said in a news release

In all, 15 members and associates of the Hoover Criminal Gang, or alleged drug dealers who operated in the gang’s territory,  were charged as part of the three indictments accusing them of selling methamphetamine, crack cocaine, cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP), according to the news release. 

One of the indictments also accuses the defendants of weapons violations, including carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, prosecutors said.

The main indictment accuses 56-year-old Bobby Lorenzo Reed, aka “Zo,” who owns H&E Smoke and Snack Shop, and 52-year-old Andrew Tate, aka “Batman,” who owns TNN Market, of selling methamphetamine, crack cocaine and powder cocaine from their respective South L.A. stores. Reed and Tate also allegedly referred customers to one another, supplied one another with narcotics and directed their employees to engage in drug sales, according to the indictment, which includes eight other defendants and details dozens of drug transactions stretching back to 2017.

Another 32-count indictment also accuses Tate of selling heroin to 33-year-old Lashina Lacy of Fresno, who allegedly attempted to smuggle the drugs into the Solano State Prison in Vacaville for an incarcerated gang member. The prisoner, in turn, intended to sell the heroin to other inmates, prosecutors said, adding that the investigation “Operation Hoover Dam” prevented the drugs from entering the prison.

The third indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday, charges two of the defendants for selling street-level quantities of PCP and crack cocaine, officials said.

The defendants were taken into custody primarily in South Los Angeles but arrests were also made in South Gate and Fresno, prosecutors said, adding that the 15th defendant, 51-year-old Ricky Blue, is still at-large.

Those arrested in the Los Angeles area were expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in a federal courtroom in downtown L.A.

If convicted as charged, most of the defendants could face at least five or ten years in federal prison. For some, the minimum sentence possible would be 10 years.

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