By CBSLA Staff

IRVINE (CBSLA) – Five men accused of planning and taking part in multiple illegal street races in 2020 were arrested after a six-month investigation by the Irvine Police Department, authorities announced Thursday.

The investigation focused on racing occurring on the 241 and 261 Toll Roads, which wind along Irvine’s borders and connect near the mountainous Irvine Regional Park.

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The men, who were arrested Tuesday, are accused of meeting to discuss and participate in multiple illegal races between January and May 2020, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and Irvine Police Department.

“Orange County roads are not raceways designed to accommodate illegal street races of speeds reaching 160 miles per hour,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “Street racing is irresponsible, it’s dangerous and it shows a complete disregard for the lives of everyone involved.”

Authorities allege three of the men posted videos of the races to their YouTube channels: Rushdan Mohammad Abdallah, 26, of Lake Forest; Aaron Hamed Waseeq, 25, of La Verne; and Daniel Joaquin Rodriguez, 21, of La Verne.

Abdallah’s channel “has hundreds of thousands of followers with the videos regularly attracting millions of views,” authorities said. “Videos on his channel also show him soliciting viewers to provide him with other street racing competitors.”

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Officials also allege Abdallah, who is accused of meeting with other drivers six times in 2020 to discuss and take part in illegal races, was out on bail from a 2019 arrest while he coordinated some of the illegal events.

All five men face at least one count of conspiracy to commit the crime of engaging in a speed contest, engaging in a speed contest, and reckless driving, according to Kimberly Edds, the public information officer for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Four of the five were also accused of speeding over 100 miles per hour, Edds said.

“No one driving on our roads should suddenly find themselves in the middle of what equates to a NASCAR race being raced by amateurs who are not trained or skilled enough to drive vehicles being pushed to their mechanical limits,” Spitzer said. “These crimes will be prosecuted and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The District Attorney’s Office announced the following charges for the defendants:

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  • Abdallah faces six felony counts of conspiracy to engage in a speed contest, six misdemeanor counts of engaging in a speed contest, six misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, and four infractions for speeding in excess of 100 m.p.h.
  • Waseeq was charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to engage 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 one infraction for speeding in excess of 100 m.p.h. He is accused of meeting with and discussing the races with others, then taking part in multiple races on the toll roads. He was also the passenger in a vehicle during one race, leading to the aiding and abetting charge, Edds said.
  • Rodriguez was charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to engage 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 one infraction for speeding in excess of 100 m.p.h., Edds said. He is accused of meeting and taking part in multiple illegal races, as well as being the passenger in a vehicle during one event, according to Edds.
  • Sean Lozai Stuart, 36, of Irvine, is facing one felony count of conspiracy to engage in a speed contest, one misdemeanor count of engaging in a speed contest, one misdemeanor count of reckless driving, and one infraction for speeding in excess of 100 m.p.h., Edds said.
  • Saeid Assim Lachin, 27, of Fullerton, was charged with 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 two misdemeanor counts of driving on a suspended license.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)