LOS ANGELES – Members of an FBI-led task force this morning arrested 18 individuals named in a series of federal indictments that allege narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses, including the illegal sale of five AR-15-style “ghost guns.”
Operation “Black Phoenix” resulted in seven indictments that were issued earlier this year by a federal grand jury. The indictments charge a total of 25 defendants, 18 of whom were arrested this morning, and four of whom were already in custody. Authorities continue their attempts to arrest the remaining three defendants.
During the course of the investigation, authorities seized approximately 28 pounds of methamphetamine, about a quarter-pound of cocaine and crack cocaine, and 16 firearms. Six of the indictments allege at least one transaction involving pound-quantities of methamphetamine. One of the indictments alleges a series of methamphetamine sales that include two one-pound deals and four two-pound transactions.
Two indictments allege illegal gun sales. Defendants Dau Quay Duong, 53, of Ontario, and Christopher Nguyen, 47, also of Ontario, are charged with illegal firearm sales for allegedly selling a total of five ghost guns, specifically five AR-15-type rifles with no make, model or serial number. In another indictment, defendant Jonathan Domingo Go, 47, of Torrance, is charged will illegally selling three firearms – two .40-caliber pistols and 5.56-caliber assault pistol that is described as a ghost gun with no manufacturing mark and no serial number.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The indictments carry a variety of charges, including conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute narcotics and substantive narcotics trafficking offenses such as distribution of methamphetamine. If they are convicted, most of the defendants will face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison, and some will face decades in federal prison because of their extensive criminal histories.
The cases announced today are the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Substantial assistance was provided by the Monterey Park Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn T. Andrews of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.