Five men have been charged with illegal street racing in Orange County, including a YouTuber who authorities say has posted videos online drawing millions of views, prosecutors said Thursday.
The street races coordinated by the defendants allegedly reached speeds of more than 160 miles per hour and took place in areas around the county between January and June of last year, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The criminal charges follow a six-month investigation by Irvine police, which resulted in the arrests of all five defendants Tuesday. The illegal racing was mostly along two toll roads in the county — the 241 Toll Road that runs from Yorba Linda to just south of Mission Viejo and the 261, which connects the 241 to the city of Irvine.
One of the defendants allegedly met with every one of the other four men to set up illegal races and has posted videos on his YouTube channel attracting millions of views. Rushdan Mohammad Abdallah, a 26-year-old resident of Lake Forest, faces six felony charges and 12 misdemeanor counts.
According to prosecutors, at the time of the illegal races last year, Abdallah was out on bail for charges in connection with a police chase and resisting an officer in November 2019.
On his channel, he has also posted videos of himself asking viewers to help him find more street racing opportunities, according to prosecutors. The channel has hundreds of thousands of followers, prosecutors said.
Abdallah has been released on $20,000 bail. A judge has ordered him not to drive, and two of his vehicles have been impounded.
The charges against him include six felony counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of engaging in a speed contest, six misdemeanor counts of engaging in a speed contest and six misdemeanor counts of reckless driving. He also has four traffic tickets for driving more than 100 miles per hour, prosecutors said.
He could face up to eight years and eight months in state prison and 540 days in the Orange County Jail if convicted of all charges.
Among the remaining four defendants are two men who have also allegedly posted racing videos online: Aaron Hamed Waseeq, 25, and Daniel Joaquin Rodriguez, 21.
Late Thursday night, the DA’s office identified Abdallah’s Youtube account as Rush Shift and indicated that videos of alleged racing have been deleted. The channel still features dozens of clips of Abdallah reviewing and riding in sportscars, as of Friday evening.
Waseeq and Rodriguez, both residents of La Verne, allegedly met and discussed racing along the 241 and 261 toll roads with Abdallah on multiple occasions last year.
Waseeq has been released on $20,000 bail while Rodriguez was released with no bail.
The charges against Waseeq include two felony counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of engaging in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of engaging in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, one misdemeanor count of aiding and abetting a speed contest and a traffic ticket for driving more than 100 miles per hour.
If convicted, he faces a maximum possible prison sentence of three years and eight months in addition to 270 days in Orange County Jail. His vehicle has been impounded, authorities said.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez faces exactly the same set of felony and misdemeanor charges and speeding ticket. Prosecutors said he faces the same maximum possible prison and jail sentence. His vehicle has also been impounded.
The two other defendants are Sean Lozai Stuart, a 36-year-old resident of Irvine, and Saeid Assim Lachin, 27, of Fullerton, prosecutors said. Both men also allegedly conspired with Abdallah to set up street races around O.C.
Stuart faces one felony count of conspiracy to commit the crime of engaging in a speed contest, one misdemeanor count of engaging in a speed contest, one misdemeanor count of reckless driving and a traffic ticket for driving more than 100 miles per hour.
He faces up to three years in state prison in addition to 180 days in Orange County Jail. Prosecutors said he was released on no bail.
Meanwhile, Lachin faces two felony counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of engaging in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of engaging in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and and two misdemeanor counts of driving on a suspended license.
He also faces a maximum possible sentence of three years and eight months in state prison as well as 450 days in jail if he’s convicted. He was also released on no bail.