Ten defendants with links to the East Dago Mob, West Coast Crips, and Asian Crips are facing federal drug and firearms charges after a yearlong investigation uncovered their roles in trafficking and distributing methamphetamine in the San Diego area.
Agents from the FBI and from the Violent Crimes Task Force seized nearly two pounds of methamphetamine and 12 illegal firearms during the course of the investigation, which was dubbed “Operation Tic Toc.” Authorities exposed the methamphetamine trafficking and distribution rings through the use of wiretapped cellular phones and extensive surveillance.
According to the indictments and search warrant affidavits, the investigation revealed two separate networks of methamphetamine traffickers and distributors operating in San Diego. Members of these networks had ties to multiple street gangs operating in San Diego, including the East Dago Mob, West Coast Crips, and Asian Crips.
Authorities targeted the drug distribution activities of 40-year-old Arthur Lee Bautista, aka “Bone” and 49-year-old David Douglas Moore, aka “Day Day” aka “Double” aka “Doubles.” Bautista and Moore are both documented gang members with the East Dago Mob and West Coast Crips respectively. Through March to July 2015, investigators wiretapped Bautista and Moore’s cellular telephones. During the intercepted conversations, Bautista and Moore negotiated and coordinated the sale and distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine-based narcotics, heroin and prescription pills to various sub-distributors and gang member associates.
During the course of the investigation, agents conducted multiple controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Bautista and Moore and identified their criminal associates and methamphetamine sub-distributors. On June 1, 2015, agents executed a search warrant at Bautista’s residence and storage locker and seized twelve firearms, ammunition, and numerous high-capacity magazines. On July 23, 2015, agents executed a search warrant at a stash house operated by Moore’s associate, Abraham Chavez, and seized 355 grams of methamphetamine, according to court records.
Agents also identified a small methamphetamine distribution cell allegedly headed by 45-year-old Tony Chau, aka “Asian Tony” and 35-year-old Oanh Ho, aka “Kim” and conducted multiple controlled purchases from them. Chau and Ho are associates of the Asian Crips street gang. During the course of the investigation, agents recovered approximately 119.2 grams of high-purity methamphetamine from Chau and Ho.
Meth and Firepower
During the investigation, agents learned that some of the defendants also sought to trade and acquire firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking. Investigators executed multiple search warrants to take these weapons off the street.
Among the guns found during the investigation were numerous assault rifles; AR-15 magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifles; multiple handguns and shotguns. Investigators also seized approximately 5 drum style magazines capable of holding more than 50 rounds of ammunition. Likewise, agents seized more than 3,800 rounds of ammunition during the course of the investigation.
After a one-day coordinated takedown Tuesday morning, seven defendants were in custody and two additional weapons were taken off the streets. A coalition of local, state and federal agents also conducted searches at locations in El Cajon, Mid-City, and Normal Heights.
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