LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Nearly eight million doses of PCP were seized in a drug bust Wednesday.
Officials said 20 people linked a South Los Angeles street gang were also arrested in connection with the drugs.
Following the bust, federal authorities unsealed two indictments charging 40 people with ties to the Grape Street Crips gang with dozens of counts, including possessing and distributing the hallucinogenic, also known as “angel dust,” illegal possession of specific illegal chemicals, maintaining a drug-involved property and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime.
In addition to the 20 people arrested, three defendants were already in custody and 17 more remain at large, federal officials said.
“Historically, the principal location in the United States where PCP is manufactured is the Southern California area,” according to the indictment.
“After PCP is manufactured, PCP traffickers typically distribute and transport PCP both within the Southern California area and to other regions in the United States, where PCP can be sold at higher prices and for greater profit.”
The indictments and arrests came after a six-year investigation focused on Grape Street Crips’ ties to PCP.
“Today’s operation breaks the grip that these drug makers and dealers have held on the neighborhoods of Watts and South Los Angeles by targeting the highest levels of PCP traffickers and those responsible for manufacture and distribution of this deadly drug,” U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said.
Prosecutors accuse the gang members of distributing angel dust through couriers and mail to Texas, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma and New York.
Authorities seized about 100 gallons of PCP and its precursor chemicals, which equates to nearly 7.7 million doses, officials said.
In conjunction with the multi-agency effort against the Grape Street Crips, the City Attorney’s Office intends to seek injunctions to curb gang activity at three properties, two of which are located on the same block of an early education center and an elementary school.
The properties are known for gang-related narcotics dealing, PCP manufacturing, possession of firearms and other criminal activity, according to the City Attorney’s office.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)